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Ebola: Tests on SA man a 'precautionary measure'

A man in South Africa will undergo a battery of tests for the Ebola virus after coming down with a high fever.

A man in South Africa will undergo a battery of tests for the Ebola virus at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital after coming down with a high fever. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The health department says tests conducted on a South African man for Ebola are a precautionary measure, adding there's no need for panic.

The 37-year-old is being treated at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

He was working as a health and safety officer at a mine in Liberia and arrived back in the country early this month.

The department says the man was scanned at OR Tambo International Airport on arrival and no problems were detected at the time, but he was admitted to hospital for further assessment after he came down with a high fever.

Department spokesperson Joe Maila says, "We are not saying that the person has Ebola. We are only saying that because of the high fever that the person presented, we needed to make sure that we do all the tests necessary to establish what is going on with the person."

Last week the department was forced to call an urgent media briefing after the Democratic Alliance (DA) released a statement saying there was a suspected case of the haemorrhagic fever on home soil.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi assured South Africans a pregnant woman from Guinea had been tested and the results were negative.

The minister said the DA then ran to the media while the tests conducted on the patient were still outstanding.

He said it had been agreed that no political party would play "political games" using Ebola.

The virus has already killed over 1,000 people in West Africa since the outbreak in March.