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Sudanese healthcare worker dies amid warnings of spike in Ebola cases

As Ebola mortality rate jumps to 70%, Sudanese healthcare worker falls victim and fears over UAE plane are eased
A healthcare worker disinfects a man at a treatment centre in Liberia (AFP)

Five people who were evacuated from a flight from Dubai on suspicion of having Ebola were declared clear of the virus on Tuesday.

The flight sat on the runway on arrival at Boston Airport for two hours, before officials clad in protective Hazmat suits boarded the plane to evacuate the five unwell travellers.

The patients were then taken to a nearby hospital to be checked for the deadly virus, as well as for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and meningococcal infection.

"The patients who arrived... at Logan International Airport do not meet the criteria for any infections of public health concern," Boston Public Health Commission's infectious disease unit said in a statement. 

Relief at the diagnosis came as the family of a Sudanese healthcare worker who fell victim to the epidemic mourned their loss.

The 56-year old had been working with the United Nations to try to combat the spread of the disease in Liberia, the worst-affected of the three West African countries to be hit by the outbreak.

He was transferred to a hospital in Germany last Thursday to receive treatment, but died overnight on Monday.

The virus, which spreads through the transmission of infected bodily fluids, poses the greatest risk to frontline healthcare workers.

The death rate from the current Ebola outbreak has now risen to an alarming 70 percent, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday.

Assistant director-general of the WHO, Dr Bruce Aylward, revealed the figures, which represent a huge jump on a previous estimate of a 50 percent mortality rate.

This means that a significant majority of those who become infected with the disease are now dying.

Aylward warned that if the world fails to step up its response to the crises within the next 60 days, “a lot more people will die.” 

There could be up to 10,000 new cases a week in two months, according to the WHO.

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