Vietnam’s second suspected Ebola case discharged after quarantine

By Dieu Hien, Thanh Nien News

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Chu Van Chung, 26, at Da Nang Hospital as he was about to be discharged November 21, 2014 after 21 days being quarantined for coming back from Ebola-struck Guinea. Photo: Dieu Hien Chu Van Chung, 26, at Da Nang Hospital as he was about to be discharged November 21, 2014 after 21 days being quarantined for coming back from Ebola-struck Guinea. Photo: Dieu Hien

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Da Nang Hospital discharged a Vietnamese national on Friday who had been quarantined for 21 days after doctors feared he had contracted the Ebola virus.
Chu Van Chung, 26, who had spent two years as a guest worker in Guinea, where the deadly hemorrhagic fever first emerged, was quarantined on October 31.
Chung had just returned to Vietnam, where he tested positive for malaria and negative for the Ebola virus. 
“After blood tests showed the patient only had malaria, we kept him for treatment for safety concern,” said Doctor Pham Ngoc Ham, director of the Tropical Medicine Department.
Dr. Ham said they decided to release Chung after he maintained healthy throughout his quarantine. 
He said his hospital has helped Chung's family “a lot” to cover the medical, transportation and meal costs Chung racked up during his hospitalization.
Following his release, Chung returned to his family's rural village in northern province of Thanh Hoa.
“If the Ebola situation in Guinea gets better, I'll go back there because the working environment is very good. But if it remains worrisome, I might well look for a job at home,” he said.
Chung worked in Guinea for two years and returned to Da Nang after transferring through Morocco, Qatar, and Ho Chi Minh City.
His was the second suspected Ebola case in Vietnam; the first one was recorded in HCMC last August.
To date, Vietnam has not reported a confirmed case of the Ebola virus.
Several medical institutions in Vietnam are now equipped with diagnostic and Ebola quarantine facilities.
Tests for the virus can now be conducted by 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.
The Ebola epidemic has killed 5,420 out of 15,145 infected persons in eight countries.
Most of those cases have been concentrated in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization reported on November 20.
On October 17 and 19 declared the WHO declared Senegal and Nigeria to be Ebola-free after 42 days (double the 21-day incubation period of the Ebola virus) elapsed without a new infection.
Congo and Senegal remain on the list, and there have been a handful of infections reported in Spain, the US and Mali.
The virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissue of infected animals and people.

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