TOULOUSE, France (Reuters) – French authorities evacuated a plane carrying 141 passengers and crew after it arrived in the French city of Perpignan from Algeria on Wednesday with a child on board suspected of being infected with cholera, the fire brigade said.
Doctors later found the eight-year-old boy was not infected, a local government official said. He had been taken to hospital for checks after bouts of vomiting and diarrhea during the flight.
Emergency services allowed other passengers and crew to leave after disinfecting hands and the plane was due to return empty to Algeria for cleaning and disinfecting.
Algeria last month experienced its first outbreak of cholera in 22 years, with two fatalities. About 50 people have been infected and are being treated in Boufarik, 30 km (18 miles) east of the capital, health authorities told Algerian media.
The source of the outbreak has been traced to bacteria from the Beni Azza river in the province of Blida, officials said. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Monday fired the governor of Blida for failure to manage the outbreak.
Algerian authorities said the disease was under control, with no new cases registered in the past three days.
(Reporting by Johanna Decorse, Additonal reporting by Emmnauel Jarry and Inti Landauro in Paris and Lamine Chikhi in Algiers; Writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Janet Lawrence)