Albanian police have detained 40 illegal immigrants from Africa today, five of whom are currently under quarantine after exhibiting symptoms of Ebola, Macedonian newspaper Vecer has reported.
Police suspect the five are of Eritrean origin, having arrived illegally in Europe via Greece. They are currently being tested for carrying the Ebola virus in hospital in the Albanian city of of Vlore, less than 86 miles from Italy’s closest port.
The news comes after one person was quarantined in Montenegro earlier today under suspicion they may be infected with Ebola. The possible victim entered Montenegro from a West African country with an epidemic of the disease, according to the public health institute.
In an attempt to prevent the spread of Ebola, Serbian authorities have currently put 14 people under medical surveillance, each hailing from either Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea or Nigeria, Bulgarian newspaper Standart reported.
They will remain under watch for the 21-day incubation period of the Ebola virus.
If confirmed, the cases would constitute the first uncontrolled instances of Ebola in Europe. A Spanish priest became the first European victim of the disease on Tuesday after contracting the disease in Liberia after being flown to a hospital in Madrid.
Albanian police said have arrested at least 500 illegal immigrants, mainly from Somalia and Eritrea, in the first half of 2014. Albania has long been seen as a route into western Europe by illegal immigrants who are ferried across the Adriatic to Italy by people smugglers.
Guinea became the latest West African country to declare a public health emergency today as the deadly epidemic continues to spread in the region where the virus has killed over 1,000 people according to World Health Organisation figures.
Liberia, which is among the countries worst affected by the disease, is to begin treating victims with the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp today.