Fears over the ability to contain the spread of Ebola were augmented last night as it emerged the body of a young stowaway was found hidden in on a U.S. military plane.
The Pentagon said the young boy, believed to be of African origin, was found near the wheel of a cargo plane which landed in Germany.
British airlines are on alert for cases of the deadly virus, after tests revealed a man died in Nigeria from the disease, having been allowed to board an international flight from Liberia.
Patrick Sawyer, a consultant for Liberia’s Finance Ministry, had been in Liberia for the funeral of his sister, who also died from the disease, and was on his way back to his home in the US.
The 40-year-old arrived in Lagos, Nigeria, on July 20 and had suffered from vomiting and diarrhoea on two flights. He was put in isolation in hospital and died on Friday.
Nigeria has closed the Lagos hospital where Mr Sawyer was treated and put its airports and ports on 'red alert'.
ASKY airlines, the carrier which flew Mr Sawyer, suspended flights to the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone yesterday.
In Britain, the Department of Transport said UK airlines are 'monitoring the situation'.
Virgin Atlantic told the Daily Express their staff have been trained to spot the signs and symptoms of the virulent disease, which has claimed the lives of 672 people in West Africa since February.
The plane was on a routine mission in Africa, and had made stops in Senegal, Mali, Chad, Tunisia and the Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily before arriving at Ramstein.
It is thought the boy climbed aboard in Mali, which borders Guinea - where the current Ebola outbreak originated at the end of last year.
It comes as hospitals and medical centres across the UK remain on red alert for the virus, with doctors being told to look out for symptoms of the disease which can go unnoticed for three weeks and kills 90 per cent of victims.
The Department of Health confirmed protections have been put in place to deal with the deadly bug, should it spread to Britain.
A spokesman said: ‘We are well prepared to identity and deal with any potential cases of Ebola, although there has never been a case in this country.’
The Government’s chief scientific advisor also issued a frank warning about the disease, which he said could have a ‘major impact’ on the UK.
Sir Mark Walport said: ‘The UK is fortunate in its geographical position. We’re an island. But we are living in a completely interconnected world where disruptions in countries far away will have major impacts.
‘The most dangerous infections of humans have always been those which have emerged from other species,’ he told the Daily Telegraph, referring to the virus originating in fruit bats and monkeys.
He said the Government was ‘keeping a close eye’ on the outbreak and was prepared for the disease spreading to Britain, but insisted any risk was ‘very low’.
He added: ‘We have to think about risk and managing risk appropriately.’
Public Health England has added to fears about the spread of the virus by saying it was ‘clearly not under control’.