The national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, said on Monday that it has disinfected one of its planes after health authorities there announced that a Nigerian woman who died after flying in to the capital, Abu Dhabi, may have been infected with the Ebola virus.
The health authority in Abu Dhabi said in a statement carried by state news agency, WAM, that the 35-year-old woman was traveling from Nigeria to India for treatment of advanced metastatic cancer.
Her health was said to have deteriorated while in transit at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The statement added that as medics were trying to resuscitate her, they found signs that suggested a possible Ebola virus infection.
The health authority noted, however, that her preexisting medical condition also could have explained her death.
The health authority statement added that medical staff treating the woman followed safety and precautionary measures in line with World Health Organization guidelines.
The woman’s husband, who was the only person sitting next to her on the plane, as well as five medics who treated her, are being isolated pending test results on the deceased woman.
All are in good health and show no symptoms of the illness, according to health officials.
Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national carrier, said that the plane was disinfected in line with guidelines laid out by the airline industry’s main trade group.
It said it continues to monitor the situation and is working with health authorities “to ensure the implementation of any and all measures necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of its passengers and staff.”