A former British council leader, Andy Smith, who was found dead at his home, had just returned from Nigeria, sparking fears that he might have contracted the Ebola virus disease.
Smith, 64, was found dead just five days after he had returned from Nigeria, according to Echo news, a local British newspaper.
His death, according to the paper, led to a hazardous medical team being called in to assess his body before tests later confirmed he did not have the killer disease.
Smith, was a Labour councillor in West Thurrock and South Stifford and cabinet member on Thurrock Council having led the council as leader in the late 90s.
A spokesman for Public Health England said that Smith had been to Nigeria and West Africa, but not in infected areas and Ebola had been ruled out as the cause of his death.
Responding to the 999 call it received to attend his home in Nutberry Avenue, in Grays, last Tuesday, the East of England Ambulance Service sent a hazardous area response team who entered the property and confirmed that the former council leader was deceased.
A spokesman for the ambulance service said, “Public Health England were alerted due to the man’s travel history.
“We have a protocols in place instructing staff on how to act when dealing with suspected cases of a variety of diseases, including ebola.”
Police confirmed that a post-mortem examination revealed he had died suddenly – not as a result of ebola – and that a file had been passed to the coroner.
Tributes have been paid to Mr. Smith with John Kent, the Labour leader of Thurrock Council, saying his loss would “have an impact on many people”.
He added, “Andy was a tremendous and hard-working councillor and was well known among his current constituents in West Thurrock and South Stifford ward.”
Rob Gledhill, leader of the Conservative group in Thurrock, said, “We are sorry to hear of the passing of Councillor Andy Smith and would pass on our condolences to his family.
“Smith had served the residents of Thurrock for over two decades and will no doubt be missed by many. His years of experience and dedication to politics and the community in Thurrock will not be soon forgotten.”
by mmsplus weekly ng