28 August 2014

Sudan Says Suspected Ebola Patient Died of Aids

Khartoum — The Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) announced that a "weakly suspected" Ebola virus case was infected with HIV. The patient whose identity was not disclosed came from the Chadian town of Abeche and suffered from viral hemorrhagic fever.

Following further tests at West Darfur hospital of El-Geneina, it turned out that the patient had AIDS and passed away shortly after.

The DRA minister of Health Affairs Fardous Abdulrahman Yusuf denied to the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) on Thursday rumors of Ebola cases in El-Geneina.

Yusuf ruled out that this patient had Ebola, due to lack of reported cases of the disease in Chad adding that after thorough investigations it became clear that this individual did not travel to countries where the disease has spread.

She further said that she met with DRA chief al-Tijani al-Sisi who approved recommendations made at the first coordination meeting of ministers of Health in all Darfur states held last week in El-Geneina on measures taken to prevent Ebola virus from entering Sudan.

She pointed out that they briefed governors of West and Central Darfur and the relevant security agencies about the seriousness of the disease and modes of transmission and also held series of meetings with the Sudanese-Chadian joint forces in the borders to educate them about the disease

The minister said she also met with Sudanese Vice-Consul in Abeche for the same purpose.

She noted the agreement between DRA and the federal Ministry of Health to provide health crews and quarantines in a transit point that is far away from the city of El-Geneina, for detection and screening of passengers coming into Darfur.

Yusuf demanded that the federal Ministry of Health take precautionary measures for arrivals through airports in order to protect the health of citizens.

The joint African Union and the United Nations in Darfur (UNAMID) imposed restrictions this month on the travel of its personnel between West Africa and the Darfur region as part of "decisive measures" to prevent transmission of the Ebola virus to Sudan.

Earlier this month, the Sudanese minister of health Bahar Idriss Abu-Garda announced that the government has elevated the state of preparedness to prevent infiltration of Ebola virus through visitors from other countries.

He disclosed that medical committees have been placed at the borders and added that they have initiated an awareness campaign with the distribution of educational brochures for the training of health personnel.

According to Reuters, Ebola is one of the deadliest diseases to man as it kills up to 90% of those infected. Discovered nearly 40 years ago deep in the forests of central Africa, its symptoms include internal and external bleeding, diarrhea and vomiting.

The virus is endemic to Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, South Sudan and Gabon, and scientists initially believed that Central Africa's Zaire strain of the virus was responsible for the outbreak.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the world's worst outbreak of Ebola in West African nations could infect over 20,000 people and spread to more countries.

There is no vaccine or cure for Ebola but some countries said they are using experimental drugs to treat infected patients.

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