An emergency alert was activated after a suspicious bottle with a dark red liquid inside and the word Ebola on it was found in the entrance to an apartment block on the holiday island of Majorca.
The area was sealed off and the bottle – which appeared to contain blood – was taken to Son Espases Hospital in the capital Palma before being flown to a specialist centre in Madrid for tests.
The alarm was sounded around 8pm on Friday after the hospital-type specimen bottle was discovered inside the block of flats in the Palma neighbourhood of Arxiduc, near the city bullring.
A suspicious bottle with a dark red liquid inside and the word Ebola on it was found in the entrance to an apartment block on the holiday island of Majorca
Emergency responders in protective suits removed the container and took it to hospital where it was immediately stored at sub-freezing temperatures before its transfer to the mainland for analysis.
The bottle had the words ‘Filoviriade Ebola virus ARN’ on it. ARN would be RNA in English, with ebola and rabies being among the RNA viruses that cause human diseases.
Local reports said it had been discovered on top of residents’ postboxes just inside the ground-floor entrance to the flats.
A resident called emergency services after discovering it.
The area it was found in was cleaned and disinfected as a precaution following its removal and neighbours living in the apartment block prevented from entering or leaving their homes for several hours while it was made safe.
Local health chiefs said initial inquiries – based on factors like the lack of a bar code on the bottle – pointed to the ‘Ebola’ container being harmless and left where it was as part of a sick joke.
The bottle had the words ‘Filoviriade Ebola virus ARN’ on it. ARN would be RNA in English, with ebola and rabies being among the RNA viruses that cause human diseases
However, it was not immediately clear when the liquid inside the container would be tested to confirm this.
Police are expected to interview residents living inside the apartment block – on a crossroads near a cafe and a pizza restaurant – as part of a full probe into the find.
Nursing assistant Teresa Romero contracted Ebola after cleaning the room of Spanish missionary Manuel Garcia Viejo at Madrid’s Carlos III Hospital.
He died from Ebola in September 2014 after being flown back from west Africa for treatment.
She was released from hospital at the start of November 2014 after being treated with blood plasma from an Ebola survivor. Her pet dog Excalibur was put down on the orders of health chiefs.
The alarm was sounded around 8pm on Friday after the hospital-type specimen bottle was discovered inside the block of flats in the Palma neighbourhood of Arxiduc
Earlier this month Teresa revealed she had decided to stop working with patients who had infectious diseases.
‘I felt death was stalking me, as if it was something sat on my shoulder,’ She said in an interview last year.
A new Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo is currently causing concern.
Its health ministry announced earlier this week the number of confirmed cases had reached 31 with nine deaths.
A long-running outbreak which started in 2014 – and led to Teresa Romero falling ill – caused thousands of deaths in Africa and major concern in Europe.