Zim Ebola rumours blamed on 'panicked' health workers

This week two cases of suspected Ebola proved to be negative, but news about the patients went viral.

FILE: It's understoon that WhatsApp messages sent between doctors and nurses were spilling into the public domain, and spreading panic. Picture: WikiCommons.

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Senior health officials in Zimbabwe have blamed panicked health workers for spreading rumours about Ebola via social media.

This week two cases of suspected Ebola proved to be negative, but news about the patients went viral via mobile phone networks.

Harare Trauma Centre Chief Executive Vivek Solanki told today's _Herald _newspaper that WhatsApp messages sent between doctors and nurses were spilling into the public domain, and spreading panic.

So persistent have been the Ebola rumours that Health Minister David Parirenyatwa had to respond to them in parliament this week.

He said on Thursday that a seriously ill patient at Harare's main hospital drenched himself in blood when he pulled out his drip, but panicked staff thought he was hemorrhaging from Ebola.

Another patient died from Ebola-like symptoms, but tests done later in South Africa proved negative for the disease.