Officials have revealed that it is highly unlikely that a British man who died in Macedonia had Ebola. As a precautionary measure, however, 35 people thought to have been in contact with him are under quarantine.
"Considering the epidemiological exams conducted yesterday (Thursday), the health authorities are getting closer to the view that there is no major probability of this being a case of Ebola," health ministry spokeswoman Jovanka Kostovska told reporters.
However preventive measures recommended by the World Health Organization were being taken until a German lab had completed its analysis of samples from the Briton, she said.
The British man died in the Macedonian capital Skopje on Thursday after displaying Ebola-like symptoms, which include fever and vomiting.
To help establish the cause of death, health authorities sent samples to a laboratory in Hamburg. The results will not be known before late Saturday.
Meanwhile, Macedonian authorities put 25 people from the hotel the man had been staying in quarantine, including a fellow Briton, along with another 10 in the hospital he was admitted to.
According to Kostovska, "they are all in good condition and with constant medical care.... but none of them shows any symptoms."
Macedonian officials did not name the victim, saying only that he was born in 1956.
The man arrived in Macedonia from London on October 2 and was not thought to have travelled to any of the west African countries affected by the Ebola virus, his friends were reported to have said.
The current Ebola outbreak, the worst on record, has claimed nearly 3,900 lives since the start of the year, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
A nurse in Spain this week became the first person to contract the killer virus outside Africa, after caring for two repatriated Ebola patients who ended up dying at a Madrid hospital.