Health authorities in Germany have urged the public not to panic following the admission to hospital of a man suspected of having the highly infectious and incurable Ebola virus. The precise diagnosis was not known, although German newspapers splashed the story as the "Ebola Scare". Doctors at the Berlin isolation hospital played down the chances of a more widespread outbreak, whatever the disease turns out to be.

The 39-year-old cameraman who had returned from the Ivory Coast at the weekend was in a worsening condition in a Berlin hospital. He is being treated in a hospital isolation unit by medical staff wearing airtight suits. Another man, a biologist who accompanied the cameraman, is also in hospital, but has so far shown no symptoms.

Last Tuesday an African-born scientict told a conference that he may have discovered a cure for the deadly disease. Compounds found in a plant used by West African faith healers stopped the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in lab tests and may be effective against the flu, the scientist told a botany conference.