JOHANNESBURG (AA) – A 37-year-old South African man who recently returned from Liberia has been admitted to hospital over fears he might be infected with the deadly Ebola virus.
“He was healthy on arrival; the scanners revealed no problem,” South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said in a statement Monday.
It said the man, who had worked as a health and safety official in a mine in Liberia for about one year, had not come into contact with any documented Ebola cases.
“He is not involved in patient care,” the NICD clarified.
It went on to note that the man had consulted a doctor after coming down with a fever on August 16 – some ten days after his return from Liberia.
In accordance with a protocol issued to private and public health practitioners and facilities, the doctor then contacted the NICD to report the patient’s condition.
“Some initial blood tests were done and the decision was made to monitor the patient at home and repeat the blood tests today,” the NICD stated.
But after the patient’s temperature had increased further, it was decided he should be admitted to the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital for further assessment and observation.
“As a precautionary measure, given his history of working in Liberia, the protocol developed for viral hemorrhagic fevers needed to be followed,” the NICD asserted.
In recent weeks, Ebola – which has no confirmed cure or vaccine – has claimed more than 1000 lives across West Africa, especially in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Nigeria, meanwhile, has recorded four deaths from the virus.
Ebola, which first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, can be transmitted to humans from wild animals, spreading through contact with the body fluids of infected animals or people.
South Africa has yet to report any cases of the virus.
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