A British Airways stewardess has died after catching malaria while working on a long-haul flight from Heathrow to the Ghanaian capital of Accra.
The unnamed woman is understood to have been staying at a hotel in Accra when she began showing symptoms of the deadly disease.
Spread by mosquitos, the parasite attacks the liver and red blood cells and can be fatal if it is not treated quickly. Symptoms include a fever, sweats and chills, a headache, vomiting, muscle pains and diarrhoea. The signs begin showing between seven and 18 days after a person is infected.
Most fatalities in the UK are caused by the Plasmodium falciparum species of the parasite, which is predominant in sub-Saharan Africa.
The airline has launched in internal investigation into how the woman caught the disease, The Mirror reported.
BA told The Independent: "We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of our colleague. Our thoughts are with her friends and family at this difficult time."
She added that all BA staff are given “top strength repellent”, access to anti-malarial tablets and medical advice before flying to at-risk countries.
The firm also checks hotels and transportation to minimise the chance of contact with mosquitos, she added.
10 Deadliest Animals In The World
10 Deadliest Animals In The World
1/10 10: Poison Dart Frog
They might look cute, but the backs of the Amazonian poison dart frog ooze a slimy neurotoxin to keep predators away. Each frog produces enough of the toxin to kill 10 humans.
2/10 9: Polar Bear
The strength of a polar bear is enough to decapitate a human being with a single swipe of the paw.
3/10 8: African Elephant
The brute force of an elephant is unrivalled by any land mammal. Weighing in around 16,000lb on average, they are responsible for around 500 human deaths each year.
4/10 7: Cape Buffalo
Cape Buffalos charge head-on with their razor-sharp horns when confronted with a predator - all 1,500lb of them. And the problem is, they tend to do so as a herd.
5/10 6: Crocodile
The stealth and combined strength of a crocodile allows it to lie in the water undetected, before it strikes, drags its pray underwater, barrel rolls and dismembers it.
6/10 5: African Lion
These big cats are ruthlessly agile, armed with razor-sharp teeth and talons and near-perfect hunters.
7/10 4: Great White Shark
These kings of the sea have 3,000 teeth with which to tear their pray to shreds. On average, are 15ft long and 5,000lb, and can detect a drop of blood in 25 gallons of water.
8/10 3: Australian Box Jellyfish
Each tentacle has 5,000 stinging cells and enough toxin to kill 60 humans. Each jellyfish has 60 tentacles each at 15 ft long. That's a lot of killing power for an animal the size of a salad bowl.
9/10 2: Asian Cobra
It might not be the most poisonous snake, but thanks to its unique spit and strike attack technique, the Asian Cobra is responsible for more human deaths than any other snake on the planet.
10/10 1: Mosquito
Tiny but deadly, mosquitoes carry and transfer malaria causing parasites to humans. As a result, they cause on average 2million human deaths a year, making the insect one of the world's deadliest creatures. Aside from human beings, of course.
British Airways employees around 40,000 people, most of whom work in the UK, and flies around 35million passengers around the world each year.
The incident comes six years after a BA steward died after catching the most deadly strain of malaria after also working on a flight from Heathrow to Ghana.Reuse content