A Vietnamese guest worker who has just returned from Guinea, where the Ebola outbreak started, has been quarantined at a hospital in the central city of Da Nang after being suspected of having deadly hemorrhagic fever.
Two blood test results showed that the worker tested positive for malaria and negative for the Ebola virus. But whether or not he is completely free from Ebola has to await the final test whose result is expected within Sunday.
Chu Van Chung, 26, was admitted to the Hoan My Hospital at 10:30 am Saturday after showing symptoms of headache and high fever, doctors said.
Chung, a native to the northern province of Thanh Hoa who worked in Guinea for two years, returned to Da Nang on Friday after going through Morocco, Qatar, and Ho Chi Minh City.
Blood samples have been collected for analysis, doctors said.
Ngo Thi Kim Yen, deputy director of the Da Nang health department, said Sunday that two results showed that Chung tested negative for the Ebola virus.
"That means the patient is 99 percent free from Ebola," Yen said. “However, We still await the final test before being able to conclude if he is 100 percent Ebola-free,” she said.
Ngo Thi Kim Yen, deputy director of the Da Nang health department, told the press Sunday that Chu Van Chung, a Vietnamese guest worker who has just returned from Ebola-hit Guinea, is unlikely to have Ebola as two test results have confirmed he tested negative for the deadly virus. Photo: Dieu Hien
Health authorities are expecting to have the final result within Sunday.
Yen said doctors have still isolated Chung and treated him with the malaria protocol. But they have kept a close watch on his possible Ebola symptoms, she said.
Chung has been recovering, doctors said,
“We cannot rule out that Chung has both Ebola and malaria so health staff must not be complacent on this case,” Pham Hung Chien, director of the Da Nang health department, was quoted by news website VnExpress as saying.
Tran Dac Phu, director of the Preventive Health Department at the Ministry of Health, confirmed Saturday that many Vietnamese guests workers have contracted malaria, some fatal, after returning home from Africa.
Chung’s was the second suspected Ebola case in Vietnam after the first one was recorded in HCMC last August.
Da Nang health authorities also notified the Ministry of Health and agencies concerned about this suspected Ebola case.
“We have also asked the city preventive health center to trace those who have had contact with this patient, including doctors who have treated him, and who sat close to him from all the flights back to Vietnam and the one from HCMC to Da Nang,” Yen was quoted by the online edition of Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper as saying.
Several medical institutions in Vietnam, which has reported no case of Ebola, are now able to test for Ebola virus as the country is preparing health workers nationwide to fight the deadly hemorrhagic fever.
Tests for the virus can now be conducted at laboratories of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and the Central Tropical Diseases Hospital in Hanoi, as well as the Ho Chi Minh City Tropical Diseases Hospital and the Pasteur Institute in the city.
The Ebola epidemic has killed 4,951 people out of 13,567 infected in eight countries, Reuters reported Friday, citing the World Health Organization, which slightly revised downwards its figures for cases mainly due to "suspected cases in Guinea being discarded".
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone account for the bulk of infections of the deadly hemorrhagic fever, but there have been sporadic cases in Nigeria and Senegal, both now declared Ebola-free, as well as Spain, the US and Mali, according to Reuters.