News24

Ebola test results due for SA man

2014-08-18 05:00

Johannesburg - The department of health says early indications are that the chances are slim that the South African undergoing a second round of tests for Ebola at a Johannesburg hospital, has the deadly haemorrhagic disease.

The 37-year-old man, who has not been identified, was working as health and safety officer in a mining operation in Liberia, which has been hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak.

Heath spokesperson Joe Maila said the man arrived in the country on 6 August.

"He was scanned as normal routine in accordance with screening protocols for incoming travellers at the OR Tambo International Airport," he said in a statement.

"He was healthy on arrival and the scanner revealed no problem nor raised temperature."

He said the man had no contact with any patients while in Liberia and he was not involved in patient care.

On 16 August, the man went to his general practitioner due to fever, said Maila.

"Following on the protocols issued to all private and public practitioners and health facilities, the doctor contacted the National Institute for Communicable Diseases [NICD] to discuss the patient.

"Based on results of the initial blood tests the decision was made to continue to monitor the patient at home and to repeat the blood tests today [Sunday]," he said.

"His temperature increased and it was decided that he be admitted at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital for further assessment and investigations."

He said the NICD regarded the patient as low risk for the Ebola virus disease.

"However, as a precautionary measure, given his history of working in Liberia the protocol developed for haemorrhagic fevers needed to be followed."

He said the public would be informed of the results as they become available. The results were likely to be available on Monday.

"The country continues to be on high alert," he said.

On 14 August, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said there were no known Ebola cases in South Africa.

A Guinea woman, suspected to have been infected with the virus, has tested negative for Ebola.

She was admitted at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital because she was in labour, she had high fever and she was screened for the virus, Motsoaledi said.

He said many people landed from Ebola-hit West Africa without Ebola.

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