Monday, September 15, 2014

First suspected Ebola case in Sarawak

A 24-year-old Zimbabwean student in Sarawak has been placed under observation for suspected Ebola virus infection.

State Assistant Public Health Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil  confirmed the patient reported himself to Kuching Specialist Centre on Saturday evening feeling feverish.

"He told the hospital that he had been in contact with students from Nigeria and the private hospital took all necessary precautions.

“Doctors there contacted the state Health Department, and the patient was then moved to the isolation ward at Sarawak General Hospital on Sunday," Dr Jerip told a hastily press conference arranged press conference after rumours ran wild online on Monday.

Dr Jerip stressed the patient had not developed Ebola symptoms and that the Nigerian students he came in contact with were totally fine.

"The patient under investigation is not vomiting and suffering from diarrhoea.

“Nonetheless, the state Health Department had activated "high precautionary measures".

"Medical personnel will be going to private university to carry out contact tracing," said Dr Jerip, urging for public to be calm.

He said it was untrue the university and private hospital had been sealed.

He added it was currently the flu season and that had it been a local who went to the hospital with fever, the precautionary measures would not have been applied.

Samples have been collected for testing, Dr Jerip said, with results expected this week.

He said the US's Centre for Disease Control had also been informed as a precaution.

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