Quarantined Burmese man cleared of Ebola

Quarantined Burmese man cleared of Ebola

A 22-year-old Burmese man, who was detained at Rangoon airport on 20 August on suspicion of carrying the Ebola virus, has been cleared after a series of tests and will be free to go home within five days, Burma’s Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday.

In a statement, the ministry confirmed that no Ebola virus was found in the patient after a series of blood tests at Rangoon’s Waibagi Hospital were sent to a World Health Organisation (WHO)-recognised laboratory in India.

It said that the blood samples were also forwarded to a virology laboratory in Hamburg, Germany, where the absence of Ebola was confirmed.

On 22 August, the Ministry of Health said the man in question was diagnosed with 2 types of malaria, while awaiting the results of the Ebola test.

The Myanmar Center for Disease Control and Prevention later posted an update on their Facebook page, assuring the steady recovery of the patient.

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The 22 year-old Burmese man was returning to Burma from West Africa when he was identified with a high fever upon his arrival at Rangoon International Airport. Another suspected carrier was detained in Vietnam, but to date no known cases of Ebola have been identified in Southeast Asia.

Burma’s Ministry of Health established screening checkpoints at international airports, seaports and border crossings after a recent outbreak escalated in West Africa, an epidemic that is believed to have begun in late 2013 but not detected until March 2014.

The WHO has reported 2,473 suspected cases and 1,350 deaths resulting from the outbreak as of 18 August 2014, making it the worst Ebola outbreak since the disease was first discovered in 1976.

Ebola hemorrhagic fever, or Ebola, can be transferred via contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected animal. There is no known cure for the disease, which has an estimated fatality rate of up to 90 percent, according to the WHO.

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