UPDATE: S.Africa tests possible Ebola victim


According to a department statement released on Monday,the results of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) are negative and his condition is stable.

“We have also conducted tests for malaria and the results are also negative. We are busy conducting further tests for other infections and continue with our appropriate management of the patient,” department spokesperson Joe Maila said in the statement.  

However, the country remains on high alert.


“There are a number of measures put in place to maintain our vigilance and South Africans should rest assured that our surveillance is strengthened,” Maila said.

The Aviation Medicine department for the South African Civil Aviation Authority has also reassured citizens that security measures are tight for entry points into the country.

(WATCH VIDEO: S.African man cleared of Ebola virus)

The 37-year-old was admitted to hospital on 17 August for further tests because he was showing symptoms of the virus.

The man worked as a health official at a mine in Liberia and landed in South Africa on 6 August.

The Department of Health spokesperson Joe Maila said in a statement that the man was scanned accordingly on his arrival at the OR Tambo International Airport.

(READ MORE: Uganda tests first possible Ebola victim)

“He was healthy on arrival and the scanner revealed no problem nor raised temperature,” the statement read.

Maila added that the man had no contact with any patients while in Liberia and he was not involved in patient care.

However, on 16 August the man consulted a doctor for fever.

“Following on the protocols issued to all private and public practitioners and health facilities, the doctor contacted the National Institute for Communicable Diseases [NICD] to discuss the patient.”

He said based on test results a decision was made to continue observing the patient at home and to repeat the blood tests on Sunday. 

“His temperature increased and it was decided that he be admitted to Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital for further assessment and investigations.”

Maila added that the NICD regarded the patient as low risk for the Ebola virus disease.

“However, as a precautionary measure, given his history of working in Liberia the protocol developed for haemorrhagic fevers needed to be followed.”

Current status of Ebola virus disease in South Africa

On 14 August, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said there were no known Ebola cases in Africa’s second biggest economy.

He said many people landed in South Africa from Ebola-stricken countries without the virus.

According to the NICD’s latest Ebola alert, published 14 August, there were no laboratory-confirmed cases of EVD in South Africa associated with the current outbreak in West Africa.

The NICD said the risk of infection for travellers was generally low since most human infections result from direct contact with contaminated body fluids.

EVD cases have been reported from the capital cities of Conakry, Lagos, Monrovia and Freetown during the current outbreak.

(READ MORE: African airlines take precautions against Ebola)

“Given the frequency of travel between southern and western African countries, there is a risk of EVD cases being imported into South Africa, but overall this risk is low,” the institute said in the alert.

There has only be one imported case of EVD reported in South Africa which was in 1996, a Gabonese doctor working with EVD cases in Libreville, Gabon, was admitted to a hospital in Johannesburg. According to reports, the nurse that treated him also contracted the disease.

Additional reporting by Forbes Africa reporter, Jay Caboz.