We are not trying to scare you, we just want you to know that Ebola may have made it way to our South African shores as news reports across the country say that one man who returned from work Sierra Leon is being tested for Ebola after showing some pretty Ebola like symptoms, but don’t let me tell you here’s what SAPA reports.
“Although this patient would not be considered as a suspected Ebola case, the NICD will conduct an Ebola test so as to allay patient and health worker fears and create confidence in the health system,” said spokesperson Nombuso Shabalala.
“All testing for the Ebola virus is conducted at the NICD’s Special Pathogens BSL4 laboratory in Johannesburg.”
She said the results would be available within the next 48 hours.
The NICD denied a claim on Thursday that the man had contracted Ebola.
“This is not correct. A South African man who worked as a fleet manager in Sierra Leone got anxious [upon his return], and was referred to Addington Hospital,” said NICD public health, surveillance, and response head Lucille Blumberg.
“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 that 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].