Potch Ebola scare man dies

2014-10-10 19:33

A man from Potchefstroom who was quarantined after showing signs of haemorrhagic fever has died, says the North West health department.

“The patient...[died] this morning, 10 October 2014. According to specialists, the cause of death is septicaemia [blood poisoning], disseminated intravascular coagulation [blood clots] and multiple organ failure due to overwhelming bacterial infection,” said health spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane today.

The 72-year-old man went to hospital on Wednesday complaining of fever, weakness and coughing, and other symptoms of haemorrhagic fever.

He was transferred to the Klerksdorp hospital’s highly infectious disease unit from Potchefstroom hospital yesterday morning.

“Blood investigations from both Potchefstroom and Klerksdorp hospitals were done to determine the actual diagnosis,” said Lekgethwane.

“The patient was treated for the identified bacterial infection in his blood while awaiting blood results from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases to rule [out] haemorrhagic fever.

“The outcome of the blood results showed negative... [for] HIV, Congo fever, and malaria.”

Lekgethwane previously said infection control measures were strengthened and the man and hospital staff were quarantined.

Yesterday, the national health department reportedly denied that the man was being treated for Ebola.

National health spokesperson Joe Maila reportedly told eNCA that the man was being treated for a high fever unrelated to Ebola.

“What we know is that a person came into the hospital with fever and this person has never been outside of South Africa,” he was quoted as saying.

“Therefore it is unlikely that you can look at the possibilities of Ebola. However, the doctors are doing all they know what to do to make sure that they diagnose what is the problem with the patient.”

The symptoms of Ebola include high fever, weakness, diarrhoea, vomiting and unexplained haemorrhaging.

According to the World Health Organisation, the Ebola virus disease has killed 3439 people in West Africa since the start of the year.

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