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Fear of Ebola Grips Germany And France In Two Recent Incidents

August 20, 2014

Fear of the Ebola virus outside the African continent continue to spread globally, as citizens and government officials in two European countries have taken extraordinary measures in recent days. This story has been reported in several news outlets. As reported earlier by SaharaReporters, this latest development appears to be part of a growing trend in a pattern of African exclusion.

Air France Planes

Air France flight crews are now reportedly refusing to board planes bound for two of the three West African countries hit hardest by the deadly virus. Guinea, Sierra-Leone, and, surprisingly, Nigeria, are the countries that have gripped the flight crews. The news is all over fears of the Ebola outbreak. The story of the ‘wild-cat’ French airline boycott appeared in the Nigerian-based Punch newspaper, and has been picked-up by other news outlets.

The fear among French airline crews is not system-wide, said company officials, yet appear to be part of a growing trend targeting Nigerian nationals, and other Africans.  

In a story now carried by several wire services, Air France cabin crew who are scheduled to work on some flights to the three countries “have not wanted to carry out their assignments,” a spokesman for the company told an AFP correspondent.

[story_link align="right"]34597[/story_link]Air France serves more West African destinations than any other major European carrier, company officials say. It has given its staff the freedom to choose whether or not they want to fly to Conakry, Freetown, and Lagos. The action by some employees of Air France comes days after British Airways and Emirates suspended flights to the West African region.

Air France operates daily flights to Guinea and Nigeria, and also a service three times a week to Sierra Leone.

In Germany, in what is the latest twist on the Ebola virus scare outside Africa, a Nigerian woman was rushed to a Berlin hospital after fainting inside a job center in that city, according to a published story in the UK-based Daily Mail newspaper. Hundreds of people were reportedly quarantined on Tuesday after the woman showed symptoms of Ebola virus infection at the job center.

As many as 600 visitors and staff at the employment office building in Berlin were also stopped from leaving, for several hours, while emergency services sealed off part of the street, according to a story in the Bild newspaper.

The newspaper said the woman had fainted, and that she hailed from Nigeria and that she said later that she had recently been in contact with people infected with Ebola.

Several of the people who sat next to the woman at the job center, were later moved to a local hospital for testing.

Rolf Erbe, a Berlin Fire Department spokesman, said that because the patient came from 'an area affected by a highly contagious disease, we took these precautions.”

The unnamed Nigerian national had turned up at the job center, suffering from a high fever before fainting.

Even as health officials in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Liberia take steps to contain the spread of the Ebola virus in their respective countries, fear of the disease spreading has taken on unexpected measures outside of Africa that some critics are calling irrational.