Byo Ebola scare: False alarm

A TRUCK driver admitted on Tuesday at the United Bulawayo Hospitals caused a major scare after it was suspected he had contracted the deadly Ebola virus.
Sources at the hospital said the driver, who is alleged to have recently come into the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo, exhibited Ebola-like symptoms.

The patient, sources said, was brought to the hospital around 6pm with a serious bout of flue and was said to had been bleeding from the nose and sneezing profusely.

This led the medical staff and other patients to suspect he had contracted the deadly virus.

“The patient was put in different room from other patients. Staff had to conduct tests and even called in officials from the Ministry of Health and Child Care to ascertain whether or not it was Ebola,” sources said.

Symptoms, which can begin between two to 21 days after infection, include fever, muscle pain, headache and a sore throat followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function and in some cases both internal and external bleeding.

However, contacted for comment, UBH chief executive officer Nonhlanhla Ndlovu stressed there was no Ebola case at the hospital.

“There is no such case,” she said.

Nonetheless, sources said the man was said to have been discharged after testing negative.

When a Radio Dialogue news crew visited the hospital on Wednesday afternoon it was business as usual and nurses who were interviewed claimed it was a false alarm.

DRC is one of the African countries, battling with a strain of Ebola virus.

Recently, the government set up health ports to strictly monitor visitors coming in via air or land routes and quarantine them if necessary in a bid to curb a possible Ebola outbreak in the country.

Minister of Health and Child Care Dr David Parirenyatwa recently urged religious tourists who frequent Nigeria seeking spiritual counsel from prominent religious leaders to postpone their visits, as a measure to control the spread of the deadly Ebola virus from West Africa.

The virus has already claimed over 1 400 lives in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone and has put the rest of Africa on high alert. – RadioDialogue