Monday, November 24, 2014

First suspected Ebola case emerges in Faisalabad

hat tip to tetano for finding  it

Published: November 25, 2014
An sign explaining the symptoms of Ebola stands inside a hall for arriving passengers at the international airport in Guatemala City. PHOTO: REUTERS
ISLAMABAD / FAISALABAD: A patient suspected to be suffering from Ebola virus disease (EVD) was hospitalised at the Allied Hospital on Monday. If confirmed, this will be the first case in Pakistan of Ebola virus – the disease that has killed more than 5,000 people in its latest outbreak in West Africa, especially in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
Zulfiqar Ahmad, 40, a resident of Chiniot district, returned to Pakistan from the sub-Saharan nation of Togo on November 16. Initially, he was hospitalised at the District Headquarters Hospital, Chiniot, for treatment of multiple health conditions. His condition, however, didn’t improve and subsequently his family admitted him to Faisalabad’s Allied Hospital where medics, after initial diagnostic tests, said it might be a case of Ebola virus.

“Zulfiqar is a chronic patient of various diseases and remained hospitalised for more than 20 days in Togo before returning to Pakistan,” Medical Superintendent Dr Rashid Maqbool told The Express Tribune.
“The patient has serious liver issues. Blood is coming from his mouth, urine and bowl,” Dr Maqbool said. “He is in a critical condition. We have sent his blood and urine samples to the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Islamabad,” he added. “The test reports will establish whether or not it’s Ebola virus.”
Dr Maqbool said they have constituted a special team to treat the patient who has been kept in isolation as the medical and paramedical staffs were taking all precautionary measures.
In Islamabad, a senior official at the NIH said that it was too early to say that it was an Ebola virus case. “The patient, Zulfiqar, came from Togo where no EVD case has been reported so far,” the official told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity.
He said the patient’s blood and urine samples would be sent to the WHO collaborating centres for viral hemorrhagic fevers. A senior official of the World Health Organisation (WHO), meanwhile, told The Express Tribune that the patient could be suffering from hemorrhagic fever. “The situation would become clear after the laboratory tests,” he added.