SA man tests negative for Ebola

The man was admitted to the Charlotte Maxeke hospital for tests on Sunday.

FILE: A nurse wears protective clothing as he demonstrates the facilities in place at the Royal Free Hospital in north London on 6 August 2014, in preparation for a patient testing positive for the Ebola virus. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Health has confirmed that a 37-year-old man who underwent tests for the Ebola virus has been cleared.

The man was admitted to the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital on Sunday after visiting his doctor and complaining of a spiking fever.

The man had worked as a health and safety officer for a mining operation in Liberia.

The Ministry of Health and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says the patient's condition is stable and further tests are being conducted for other infections.

The department's Joe Maila says the Ebola tests have come back negative.

"We tested for other viruses like Malaria which also came back negative. The patient is still at the hospital."

The department added that he was scanned upon arrival at OR Tambo International Airport and no problems were detected at the time.

At the same time, a pregnant woman was also tested for Ebola at a different hospital but also cleared.

Over 1,000 have now died from the outbreak of the virus in West Africa.

Meanwhile, a team from the NICD team has arrived in Sierra Leone to assist in containing the virus.

The team has all the necessary equipment and says the best way to stop the virus is to start by confirming exactly who has been infected and then contain it.

Furthermore, Doctors without Borders are warning health workers in West Africa are struggling to stem the spread of the virus due to the lack of trained professionals in the region.

The group is calling on countries with better resources to send trained emergency response teams to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria where the outbreak is most prevalent.

Doctors without Borders' Daniel Berman said, "We haven't seen enough experienced people so we need a mobilisation from the countries that have the resources to hit the ground running."


Nigeria has 12 confirmed cases of the Ebola virus, up from 10 at last week's count, of which five have almost fully recovered, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

It said in a statement that 189 people in Lagos and six others in the south-eastern city of Enugu were under surveillance. The death toll remains four, it said.

A doctor who had recovered had been discharged from hospital, the ministry said.

"Patients under treatment have now been moved to the new 40 bed capacity isolation ward provided by the Lagos state government," the Health Ministry statement said.

It added that experimental drugs were in the process of being cleared for the treatment of Ebola, although one, Nano Silver, had been rejected because it did not meet requirements.

Fighting the disease in Nigeria is complicated by the fact that doctors are on a nationwide strike. The ministry of health sacked 16,000 doctors on Thursday after they refused to end their strike in the midst of an Ebola epidemic.

Healthcare workers fighting to stop the disease in overcrowded and ill-equipped clinics often succumb to Ebola themselves.

The World Health Organisation says more than 170 healthcare workers have been infected and at least 81 have died.

Additional reporting by Reuters.