ISLAMABAD: An alert for a suspected case of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (Ebola) has been reported from Chiniot district near Faisalabad.
The person, working in Togo (West Africa) for last three years, unfortunately passed away last night. He came to hometown, Chiniot around 10 days back.
At the time of admittance in hospital in Faisalabad, the patient had a history of high grade fever and yellowish discoloration of eyes, vomiting and loose stools for the last five days and loss of consciousness for one day.
The patient also had a history of vomiting blood three months back for which he received treatment in Togo.
Although suspected at start, the diagnostic of Ebola fever was ruled out on the verified absence of concurrent travel history – Togo is not an Ebola infected country and on the clinical picture and the patient did not travel anywhere near the epidemic areas.
Further investigations concluded that the patient was in terminal stage of Hepatitis C with an episode of Hemorrhagic dengue fever, confirmed by laboratory exams. The patient unfortunately passed away Monday night.
A hand out issued here on Tuesday said as an initial measure of precaution, the Health Department Punjab had sent one field investigation team to patient’s home town in Chiniot and another investigation team to Faisalabad where the patient was admitted for investigation and treatment, in order to track travel history and all potential contacts, a routine practice in epidemic investigation.
Ministry of National Health Services remained in contact with the Punjab Health Department and World Health Organization (WHO) and provided technical guidance. The National Institute of Health scientists also remained stand by and in contact with provincial authorities throughout the episode on directions of Minister and Secretary Health Services.
The WHO team provided technical support to government of Punjab to investigate the case and definitely ruled out any suspicion of Ebola.
On a more general tone, WHO is working closely with government of Pakistan to help strengthening epidemic preparedness measures including Ebola.