Better news for fever ship

Jun 17, 2005
Author: P&S

A French medical laboratory has dismissed any likelihood of Marburg hemorrhagic fever being the cause of the mystery disease on board the bulker Clipper Lancaster, which claimed one life with another sailor taken seriously ill.

The laboratory in France came to this conclusion after analysing blood samples sent from La Reunion.

The ship has been held in quarantine off the Indian Ocean island of Reunion since arriving from Durban (see our report dated 15 June). The actual fever, however, remains unidentified.

The two seafarers among a crew of 22 became ill shortly after the 28,429-dwt ship left Durban on June 5, where it had stopped briefly to refuel. One man died within a matter of a few days of leaving Durban but the second has since responded to treatment since his ship arrived off the French island.

Before calling at Durban the ship had loaded logs at Pointe Noire in Congo Brazzaville and was reported to have also called at Angolan ports during April. A serious outbreak of Marburg hemorrhagic fever is raging in northern Angola, where 423 cases have been reported by June 7 with 357 fatalities.

According to reports from La Reunion Clipper Lancaster is now likely to be released from quarantine and allowed to continue its voyage to China. The vessel has been thoroughly disinfected and the body of the dead sailor taken ashore in a sealed metal coffin, for transfer to an unspecified destination in Eastern Europe



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