A British Airways flight attendant has died after catching a lethal strain of malaria.
The woman became ill after working on a long-haul flight from Heathrow to Ghana’s capital Accra, Britain’s Sunday Mirror reported.
While staying at a hotel in the city with other BA cabin crew, she started showing signs of the mosquito-borne disease, which typically include fever, fatigue, vomiting and headaches.
All BA aircrew flying to the West African country are given anti malarial tablets and told how to protect themselves while working abroad, the paper reported.
A source spoke of “huge concern about cabin and flight crew flying to Ghana after such a tragic incident”.
Malaria is a constant threat in tropical countries and drug resistance poses a growing problem in 21st-century malaria treatment.
Medical specialists say resistance is now common against all classes of antimalarial drugs save the artemisinins.
Wikipedia notes: “Treatment of resistant strains became increasingly dependent on this class of drugs. The cost of artemisinins limits their use in the developing world. Malaria strains found on the Cambodia-Thailand border are resistant to combination therapies that include artemisinins, and may therefore be untreatable.”
The paper said BA refused to discuss details of the tragedy – which happened earlier this month – citing confidentiality.
A BA spokeswoman said cabin crew were given “top strength repellent and fully briefed every time they fly into a malarial area in order to give them the best protection.
“Medication is available to those who wish to use it, either before they fly or when they are at their destination.”
Written by Peter Needham