West African woman tests negative for Ebola in Australian hospital

An 18-year-old West African woman has tested negative for Ebola after emigrating to Australia from Guinea with her family 12 days ago, state health authorities said on Monday.

Australia has introduced mandatory home quarantine for travelers arriving from the West African countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak. Several people have been tested, but no cases of the deadly disease have been found.

"The results are negative," a Queensland department of health spokeswoman said on Monday.

The woman, who has been in home quarantine and monitored by health authorities since her family's arrival, was taken to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital on Sunday after telling health workers she had developed a fever, Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young told a news conference on Sunday.

"She's otherwise well and she has been in home quarantine since the time she arrived into Queensland," said Young, adding there was no risk to the Australian public.

The woman, who traveled to Australia with eight members of her extended family, was met at the airport in Brisbane by health authorities as a precaution and has been monitored daily. All were placed in home quarantine.

"She didn't have any known contact with anyone that was sick with Ebola virus disease but she did come from an area that had a reasonably large number of cases, so that's why it was thought appropriate that she go into home quarantine when she arrived here," Young said.

The Ebola outbreak that began in March has killed nearly 5,000 people, the vast majority in West Africa.

The disease can take as long as three weeks before its victims show symptoms, at which point it becomes contagious. Ebola, which can cause fever, vomiting and diarrhea, spreads through contact with bodily fluids such as blood or saliva.