Government has ruled out reports that one Ebola Virus Disease case has been recorded in the country.
There is an Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak ongoing in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to the latest DRC Ministry of Health situation report issued on 3rd September 2018, a cumulative 122 (Confirmed 91 and Probable 31) with 82 deaths (Confirmed 51; Probable 31) indicating a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) 66.4% from North Kivu and Ituri Province have been recorded.
Eight new cases are currently under admission with 3 pending laboratory confirmation.
Yesterday, it was reported in some sections of the media that a suspected EVD case was admitted to the Levy Mwanawasa Teaching Hospital and this has caused panic and anxiety amongst members of the public.
Zambia’s Health Minister Dr. Chitalu Chilufya has told journalists in Lusaka during a press conference that there is no Ebola Virus Disease case in Zambia.
The minister has however acknowledged that the suspected patient is a 41 year old male who is a resident of Serenje District who came to Lusaka for a church camp meeting on 27th August 2018.
Dr. Chilufya explains that the suspected patient was already of ill health on travel and that he presented with fever, discoloration of the skin resulting from bleeding underneath the skin and red patching in the white of the eye among other symptoms was immediately admitted and quarantined to rule out EVD.
“On further investigation, our health workers made a tentative diagnosis of septicemia, a condition of blood infection with bacteria or other microorganisms. Further to that our laboratory investigations conducted at the University Of Zambia School Of Veterinary Medicine has ruled out Ebola Virus Disease,” said Dr. Chilufya.
He says his Ministry remains on high alert and continue to improve the detection and response capacities in the country through training of responders and equipping health facilities with requirements to respond.
Dr. Chitalu has also assured Zambians his Ministry has put in place, under the coordination of the Disease Intelligence wing, the Zambia National Public Health Institute, various mitigating and preventive measures.
“As I speak, 7 (Seven) member Rapid Response Teams per district in North-Western Province are being trained in Solwezi to be followed by training on the Copperbelt. Prior to this training, other district teams have been trained in Northern and Luapula provinces considering their proximity to the DRC,” he has disclosed.
Ebola Disease is a highly contagious disease caused by infection with the Ebola virus.
It commonly presents as fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, unexplained bleeding.
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after contact with the virus, and although a rare disease it is severe and often deadly.