20 May 2006
KILLER BUG AIR SCARE
By Stephen Moyes
A WOMAN who arrived in London on a flight from Africa yesterday is reported to have died from the deadly and contagious ebola virus.
Panic has spread among cabin crew and hospital staff after the death of the 38-year-old Briton.
The unnamed woman is understood to work at an embassy in the African kingdom of Lesotho.
Before boarding a Virgin Atlantic flight from Johannesburg to Heathrow she visited a doctor complaining of flu-like symptoms.
She was allowed to fly, but during Flight VS602 to the UK she suffered a violent fit which left her unconscious.
Cabin crew and passengers rushed to her aid but towards the end of the flight she began to vomiting.
When the Airbus A340-600, carrying 267 passengers and crew, touchdown at Heathrow she was rushed to nearby Hillingdon Hospital, West London.
Her symptoms matched those of the viral haemorraghing fever, ebola. The results of a post mortem are awaited.
The story also reports that the flight crew was told to “monitor their health” – and says nothing about any effort to isolate the passengers and crew to verify they haven’t been infected. This is just such standard procedure for health departments that I can’t imagine them telling anyone who has supposedly come into contact with ebola to just go home and take their temperature every now and again. In short, the story sounds like some hype masquerading as news. Hopefully, time will tell.
What I can’t understand is the literal silence on the matter by all of the US media. Even heavily qualified, this is surely news, isn’t it?
I’ll keep an ear open.
The chief financial officer brought in to help reform the scandal-plagued local United Way has quit her post and says the charity’s bad accounting continues.
Former CFO Kim Tran says the United Way is exaggerating how much money it is raising. She left her post in March.
Tran tells The Washington Post that chief executive Charles Anderson told her to add $1 million in questionable corporate donations to the charity’s announced total for 2004. She says she had been given no documentation for the donations but that Anderson said he wanted the contribution total to be as high as possible.
An audit later found the United Way’s contributions were falling between 2003 and 2004.
After the United Way’s last ethics debacle this isn’t going to help create steady confidence in the charity.