Police officers wearing protective masks receive instructions stand outside the job center in the Berlin district of Pankow, August 19, 2014. Image: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters
BERLIN - Several people have been taken for testing at European hospitals after fears that they may have contracted the deadly Ebola virus.
German health authorities on Tuesday took to hospital and quarantined a 30-year-old West African woman who showed symptoms consistent with the deadly Ebola disease.
Dozens of other visitors and staff at a Berlin employment office building were also stopped from leaving for several hours as emergency services sealed off part of the street.
The mass-circulation Bild daily said the woman had fainted, that she hailed from Nigeria and that she said later that she had recently been in contact with people infected with Ebola.
Several people who had been with the woman inside the building in the northeastern district of Prenzlauer Berg were later also taken to hospital for testing.
Berlin fire department spokesman Rolf Erbe said that because the patient came from "an area affected by a highly contagious disease, we took these precautions".
He said the testing in the city's Charite hospital would take some time.
"The patient was isolated inside the ambulance, the staff took the appropriate protective measures. An emergency medic, the public health officer, arrived and the necessary precautions were taken," he added.
West Africa's Ebola epidemic, which has hit four nations since it broke out in Guinea early this year, is by far the deadliest since the virus was discovered four decades ago in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Two men who arrived in Austria last week from Nigeria have been hospitalised on suspicion of carrying the Ebola disease, a regional Austrian governor said on Tuesday.
Blood samples were sent to a laboratory in Germany with results expected later on Tuesday, Josef Puehringer, governor of Upper Austria province said.
The two men were hospitalised in Voecklabruck after developing a fever following their return from Lagos and were currently being held in quarantine, Puehringer said.
Authorities were also trying to locate anyone the pair may have been in contact with in case further action was needed, he said.