A suspected case of Ebola disease detected at the Nyaho Medical Centre in Accra on Sunday has tested “tentatively negative”, according to the Ghana Health Service.
Head of Disease Surveillance at the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Badu Sarkodie, told Joy News more work would be done Tuesday before a substantive conclusion would be announced.
“What it means is that whatever they [scientists who tested blood samples of the suspect victims] have done is not complete and there is the need for follow up tests”, said Dr Badu Sarkodie.
Four staff members of Nyaho Medical Centre have since been quarantined after they came into contact with an American citizen suspected to be carrying the deadly virus.
Blood samples of the suspected victim were subsequently taken for test at the Nugouchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research, which has given its preliminary report as negative.
Following the suspected case at the Nyaho clinic, the University of Ghana Medical Centre cautioned the general public against eating and getting close to animals found dead in rain forests as they may carry the Ebola virus.
Bush animals such as antelopes, fruit bats, dead porcupines, infected chimpanzees among others are said to harbor and spread the virus rapidly among them.
The fruit bats, especially, are said to naturally contain the virus.
Also any direct contact with such animals through broken skins or mucus membranes would result in a person acquiring the virus.
Dr. Theophilus Adiku, Head of Microbiology at the University of Ghana Medical Centre, who sounded the caution, explained to Joy News Monday, the only way to kill the Ebola virus was to thoroughly boil all edible meats obtains from the bush.
He said the cooking process should take up to 30 minutes or more due to the intensity of the infection, adding that contaminated meats ought to be disposed off with suspected patients, quarantined.
Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
EVD outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%.
EVD outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus.
Patients require intensive supportive care. No licensed specific treatment or vaccine is available for both humans or animals.
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