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Danish report
by Euro Reporter
2014-10-06 11:27:51
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Denmark has its first ebola scare

A patient who had been in west Africa was isolated in a suburban Copenhagen hospital late on Thursday for displaying symptoms consistent with ebola. Denmark had its first ebola scare late on Thursday night in what turned out to be a false alarm, Ekstra Bladet reports. The department of infectious medicine at Hvidore Hospital was closed down late on Thursday after a patient who had been in west Africa displayed symptoms consistent with ebola. Medical staff moved other patients in order to isolate the suspected ebola victim, but within a few hours doctors were able to rule out an infection. 

The Danish Health and Medicines Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen) confirmed to Ekstra Bladet that the incident marked the first time that a Danish hospital has isolated a suspected ebola patient. “It is the first time that we’ve had a report on such an incident. But it shows that our system works,” Sundhedsstyrelsen spokesman Søren Brostrøm told Ekstra Bladet.

The incident in no way changes the threat level of ebola in Denmark, Brostrøm stressed. “Our risk assessment is still very low and we still consider it very unlikely that we will have ebola in Denmark. It hasn’t been ruled out that it could happen, but the risk assessment is low,” he told Ekstra Bladet.


New seal deaths cause concern in Denmark

A large number of dead seals found recently on the island of Fanø has led to worries that a surge in seal deaths in western Sweden will also reach Denmark. The Fisheries and Maritime Museum in Esbjerg reported a large number of dead seals found over the past week and has sent samples to the Technical University of Denmark's National Veterinary Institute in Copenhagen. The find raises concerns that the deaths could be related to the nearly 400 harbour seals that have been reported dead in western Sweden so far this year, ten times the typical annual average of 30 to 40. 

It is understood that two of the animals in Sweden tested positive for a form of bird flu, but scientists say that the reason for most of the deaths remains unclear. "So far we have not had a sufficient amount of samples in order to establish the causes of death," Siamak Zohari from the National Veterinary Institute told The Local Sweden. Experts are particularly focused on seeing if the animals have contracted some kind of influenza. Two seals in Denmark are also known to have died from bird flu recently.

In 1988 a deadly virus known as PDV wiped out half of western Europe's seal population by attacking animals' immune systems. Between 17,000 and 20,000 seals died in just eight months. A similar epidemic followed in 2002. "So far the animals that have been tested have not been shown to have PDV," Charlotte Moraeus from the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm told The Local Sweden. In July, around 100 seals were found dead on the Danish island of Anholt over a span of two weeks. Despite initial fears that the deaths were caused by a new PDV outbreak, researchers concluded that the seals died as a result of bacteria. 


Denmark marks 25 years since world’s first same-sex unions

It has been 25 years since Denmark became the first country in the world to recognise same-sex civil unions. Denmark began to recognise registered partnerships for same-sex couples on October 1 1989 – marking the world’s first legal recognition of gay relationships. Ivan Larsen and Ove Carlsen, who were one of the first gay couples to register their partnership, are still together a quarter of a century later. Ivan Larsen told the BBC: “It was a marvellous day. We had been fighting for the partnerships for many many years.

“When I met Ove, I knew that this was the man for me.” It was over two decades later that the country fully recognised same-sex marriage in 2012 – but the couple say they have always considered themselves married. Ove Carlsen added: “I have always talked about Ivan as my husband, and I think it’s strange to call him my partner. “It was a very strange day. The sun was shining, we were driven in horse-drawn carriages through Copenhagen.” Mr Larsen added: “Denmark has had this partnership law – now same-sex marriage – for 25 years. It has been normal. “In fact, sometimes I think it has been so normal that it isn’t worth discussing.”


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