The passenger who yesterday morning became unwell on a Brussels Airlines flight from Freetown in Sierra Leone to Brussels, has tested negative for Ebola. The analysis was carried out last night by the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (ITM).

“Investigation of the blood samples show that this passenger is not infected with the Ebola virus. Fortunately, we were able to quickly obtain these negative test results and thus reassure everyone,” said Dr. Lieselotte Cnops, molecular biologist from ITM’s clinical laboratory.

The sample arrived in Antwerp at 5 p.m. on Monday, 3 November. The results were known less than four hours later.

The medical staff of the Saint-Pierre University will continue to monitor the patient.

Diagnosing Ebola

The diagnosis was carried out jointly by ITM’s research and clinical virology laboratories. The virologists first neutralised the blood sample in ITM’s high security BSL3+ laboratory (“biosafety level 3+”) and isolated the genetic material. The resulting, totally harmless, sample was then analysed in the clinical laboratory using advanced molecular diagnostics.