'Ebola suspect has malaria'

Preliminary test report comes as big relief, say doctors

The 28-year-old man who came from Nigeria and was under observation at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital for suspected Ebola is suffering from malaria, said a hospital source.

“This comes as a big relief as this indicates what he has been suffering from. The preliminary test report of antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) showed that he tested negative for Ebola,” said Dr H K Kar, medical superintendent of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML).

Initially hospital authorities had not ruled out Ebola as the man, originally from Saharanpur in UP, had shown symptoms of fever and diarrhoea. 

However, the man has claimed in his medical history that his reports at a healthcare centre in Nigeria had shown that he had tested “weakly positive” for Ebola.

“We do not know what conclusion to draw from this statement of weakly positive. We do not want to take any risks. So the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is planning to draw fresh samples for a second time for the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. The samples will be sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune. We were confused as he said that he had tested weakly positive in Nigeria. However, there are no documents to support it,” said Dr Kar.

There are six beds which have been kept for the screening purpose of Ebola at RML Hospital.

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a severe illness with a death of up to 90 per cent cases. It is characterised by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhoea and rash. In some cases, there is impaired kidney and liver function and bleeding.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported 1,848 cases including 1,013 death due to EVD till August 9.

Meanwhile the Centre in a review meeting proposed the setting up of a portal for systematic, easy and effective information sharing between the different Ministries on the passengers travelling to India from the affected countries.

“This will enable more effective surveillance and tracking of the suspected cases. The Health Ministry will train the immigration officers at the identified airports on how to deal with the passengers travelling from the affected countries,” said a statement released by the ministry. 

The helplines set up by the government are actively providing information on symptoms of Ebola and that there is no definite scare in Delhi yet.
DH News Service
 

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