SA man tests negative for Ebola - NICD

2014-10-31 13:13
 (File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Johannesburg - A South African man who returned from Sierra Leone has tested negative for Ebola, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said on Friday.

"The patient is in a stable condition in hospital," said spokesperson Nombuso Shabalala.

"Travellers without symptoms, returning from the Ebola-affected countries, pose no risk of infection to others."

She said people working in the retail, security, and mining industries in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia were not at risk. Only those who handled blood, faeces, and vomit of infected people, without proper protection, were at risk.

The NICD denied a claim on Thursday that the man had contracted Ebola.

The man, who worked as a fleet manager in Sierra Leone, became anxious when he returned and was referred to Addington Hospital in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

NICD public health, surveillance, and response head Lucille Blumberg on Thursday said: "In fact, he did not go [to the hospital], as he did not fulfil what we call a 'suspect for Ebola'. There was no indication - he never had a risk and there was no suspected case."

Shabalala said the KwaZulu-Natal health department arranged for his admission on Thursday, to allow further assessment and to check specifically for other infections including malaria, given the absence of risk factors and no direct exposure to persons with Ebola disease.

The Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of SA (Hospersa) said in a statement on Thursday a patient who contracted Ebola had "absconded" from the hospital.

"Hospersa has received reports from panicked members at Addington Hospital that after tests had confirmed a patient to be infected with the Ebola virus the patient absconded from the hospital yesterday [Wednesday]."

The Star reported on Thursday that a suspected Ebola patient was admitted to the hospital.

When asked whether a blood sample was taken because there was a suspicion of Ebola, KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo told the newspaper "Yebo" (yes).

Read more on:    durban  |  diseases  |  ebola

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