Tests conducted in South Africa on samples that were taken from a suspected Ebola patient in Karonga District have shown that the patient did not succumb to Ebola as earlier feared, the government has confirmed.
Reports indicated that a 37-year-old man (name withheld) from James Village, Traditional Authority Kilupula in the lakeshore district, had am ailment whose signs and symptoms were similar to those of one attacked by Ebola virus.
The patient was first admitted to Kaporo Rural Hospital before being referred to Karonga District Hospital where he was treated at an isolation camp before he died on Tuesday last week.
Spokesperson in the Ministry of Health and Population, Joshua Malango, said Monday that the results from South Africa’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases Laboratory, where samples were taken to, tested negative of Ebola virus.
“Results of samples which we sent to South Africa confirm what we already said [that there is no Ebola case in Malawi] as earlier feared. It corroborates the tests which we conducted at our local laboratory in Karonga that we do not have any Ebola case,” he said.
Reacting to reports that the remains of the suspected Ebola patient were buried by hospital officials in the evening as has been the case with those who die of Ebola elsewhere thus raising more fears of the deadly virus, Malango, said the family of the deceased had made the request.
“The family requested support for burial but the request was only made late in the afternoon. Take note that the deceased family was from Mzimba and had to travel all the way to Karonga. They were very few and requested the council to support them with the burial. There is nothing to hide,” he said.
The 37-year-old man had facial swelling, bleeding in the eyes, nose and mouth which are some signs like those of one attacked by Ebola.
According to the World Health Organisation, the largest Ebola outbreak was in 2014 when more than 28,000 people were infected and more than 11,000 died, mostly in West Africa.