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Flier from Nigeria quarantined in Mumbai hospital over Ebola fears

A 32-year-old man, who came to the city from Nigeria yesterday, was admitted to the isolation ward of a Jogeshwari hospital after airport authorities found he had fever

In the wake of the Ebola scare, a 32-year-old man, who came to the city from Nigeria yesterday, has been admitted to the isolation ward of the civic-run Jogeshwari trauma centre after airport authorities notified the BMC that he had fever.

While the man did not exhibit any symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus disease, doctors said they will keep him in the isolation ward as a precaution and his blood samples will be sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune.

The man, who flew into the city from Nigeria via Dubai, was subjected to the screening that all passengers travelling from Ebola-hit West Africa have to undergo. When airport authorities found that the man had fever, they alerted BMC health officials and shifted him to the hospital.

Speaking to mid-day, Dr Mangala Gomare, epidemiologist, BMC said, “He was thoroughly examined by our doctors but at the time that we examined him, it was found that he was not suffering from any symptoms like fever, nausea or cough. However, even though he is asymptomatic, we have decided to keep him in the isolation ward and send his blood samples to the National Institute of Virology in Pune.”

“The samples will be sent on Monday and it will take a maximum of 48 hours for the test results to come. As a precautionary measure, we’re going to keep him in the isolation ward until then. The patient has informed us that he had no history of exposure to the Ebola virus while he was staying in Nigeria,” added Dr Gomare.

Doctors said the precaution is necessary as the Ebola virus can have an incubation period of up to 21 days and spreads through the bodily fluids of an infected person including blood, saliva, mucus, sweat and semen. The WHO declared the Ebola outbreak a global emergency earlier this month after several healthcare workers in West Africa started succumbing to the virus.

Earlier scare
On August 12, mid-day had reported (‘Ebola precaution ruins Mumbai man’s vacation’) how Lalit Kumar Ahir (31), who works as an IT professional in Nigeria, was quarantined for nearly two days as a precaution during his vacation in the city. He was suffering from diarrhoea and had been treated for it, but had called up the authorities suspecting that he had the Ebola virus disease.

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