Johannesburg, July 30, 2014 – There is an ongoing outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa, with over 1 200 cases and 670 deaths reported to date in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Fortunately, there have been no confirmed cases of EVD in South Africa associated with this outbreak.
The Ministry of Health of Nigeria reported the first probable case of imported EVD. According to the Nigerian authorities, the case-patient is a 40-year-old Liberian male national who travelled by air on 20 July 2014 to Nigeria where he was admitted to hospital with symptoms of EVD and died a few days later.
The risk of travellers becoming infected with Ebola virus during a visit to the affected countries is low, since most human infections result from direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or other body fluids of infected living or dead persons or animals. In South Africa, Port Health authorities are on high alert for any ill persons with EVD-compatible illness who have travelled from West Africa.
Early symptoms include fever, headaches, joint and muscle pains, and poor appetite. Later symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, and stomach pain, which may be followed by a rash and both internal and external bleeding – often from the eyes, nose or mouth.
Issued by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases – a division of the National Health Laboratory Service.
For further information please contact Nombuso Shabalala on 011 555 0545 or 082 886 4238