Hartlepool holidaymaker ‘safe’ after Ebola case in Tenerife

John Riddle enjoying a glass of wine in the Dail Fountain Bar in Los Cristianos
John Riddle enjoying a glass of wine in the Dail Fountain Bar in Los Cristianos

A HOLIDAYMAKER has assured his family he is well despite news of a suspected case of Ebola on the sunshine island where he is staying.

Mail reader John Riddle says “shockwaves” were sent around the Canary Islands with the announcement that a man had arrived in Tenerife from West Africa and was in isolation with symptoms similar to the deadly disease.

Three out of four suspected cases of Ebola have come back negative, according to Government officials in Tenerife.

The outbreak of the virus – the largest known – primarily affects three countries in West Africa; Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

More than 8,300 cases and more than 4,000 deaths have been reported across these countries by the World Health Organisation.

Mr Riddle, a former sports editor of an English language newspaper on the island, said Mail readers should be assured that there is currently no outbreak in Tenerife and no panic.

The keen photographer and retired probation officer is currently based in Los Cristianos on the island.

He said: “On Thursday, I was out and about in this popular resort dining in one of the many restaurants and then taking in an Irish music show in central Los Cristianos.

“Residents and tourists I spoke to were well aware of the announcement from the Canarian Health Authorities.

“Not one person had any plans to change their holiday arrangements and return home.”

Mr Riddle, 66, a former Hart ward Conservative councillor in the 70s, added: “One case of ‘suspected’ ebola, now in an isolation unit, in Candaleria some 30 minutes drive from the popular resorts of Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos, is unlikely to influence the majority of people’s winter holiday plans.

“Of course there is concern for the unfortunate man from Sierra Leone and prayers are being said for him in local churches.

“My family and friends should be reassured I am in good health and I thank them for their messages of concern.

“I have no plans at the moment to cut short my holiday.”

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said the risk of Ebola to the general public in the UK remains very low.

Ebola can only be transmitted by direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person or animal.