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Brazil Keeps Ship From Zaire At Sea For Fear of Ebola Virus

May 19, 1995

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) _ A cargo ship from Zaire will remain anchored at sea off Brazil’s southern Atlantic coast until authorities determine its crew is not infected with the Ebola virus, a health official said Thursday.

The Cypriot ship Feax left Matadi, Zaire, on May 1 and arrived in Brazilian waters nine days later to pick up sugar bound for Russia. The ship has 23 crew members.

``The ship is not in quarantine,″ said Dr. Jose Pereira Sartori, a health ministry official at the port of Santos. ``We told them to anchor outside of the bay.″

It is unusual for ships to remain anchored at high sea outside the bay of Santos. There are plans to inspect the ship, but a date has not been set, Sartori said.

He said the ship’s captain told him by radio May 10 that the crew was in good health.

``We are not overly worried because the boat has been at sea for 18 days and the symptoms of the Ebola virus usually manifest themselves within seven or eight days,″ said Sartori.