Vacationers at a nude beach in the Canary Islands panicked earlier today when they realized that a boat full of African immigrants on the sand had Ebola-like symptoms.
The boat contained 19 Africans, all from Ebola hotspots like Guinea and Sierra Leone. Reportedly, the illegal immigrants arrived on a beach near the sand dunes on Gran Canaria with the hopes of finding a better life.
What they found was a beach full of nudists.
The vacationing nudists were alarmed when Red Cross workers moved in the direction of the boat and left masks, food, and water over 50 meters way from the immigrants and would go no closer to them.
Panic ensued. Not worrying about getting dressed, the nudists gathered up their things in bags and backpacks and fled the beach as fast as they could.
According to the Daily Mail, the immigrants were gathered up using a dump truck. Authorities said that after examination, none of the immigrants actually had Ebola, though four of them were taken to a nearby hospital with other health issues.
Almost immediately, critics of the Red Cross and the Canary Islands government chastised both for their treatment of the immigrants.
The mayor of San Bartolome said that the dump truck was used to transport the immigrants because of the beach’s location. The beach is so remote that using a traditional ambulance would have required multiple trips. The popular nude beach is in a remote area, accessible only by a 2 kilometer walk through extensive sand dunes.
As for the fate of the illegal immigrants, according to the Daily Telegraph, they will most likely be deported back to their home countries.
Ebola scares have raged everywhere from Spain to the United States over the last several weeks. The latest one in the U.S. concerned a doctor who had just returned from Africa to New York City. The man had developed a fever consistent with Ebola and was placed into isolation. The questions surfaced immediately after he was quarantined as to where the doctor had been and who he’d been with before being isolated, but authorities assured the public that the man had only been in contact with a few people between the time he developed symptoms of the deadly disease and the time he reported to the hospital. Health officials say that the only time an Ebola-infected person is contagious is after they’re exhibiting the symptom of a high fever.
[Image via CBS News]