Suspected ‘Ebola’ patient dies in Karonga
By Mathews Kasanda:
A 37-year-old man who was admitted at Karonga District Hospital, with some signs and symptoms like those of Ebola, has died.
The case raised fears among Malawians who suspected the patient had the deadly disease.
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Health and Population, and signed by Principal Secretary Dan Namarika, the man died on Tuesday at Karonga District Hospital camp where he was being treated in isolation.
The statement says the patient experienced facial swelling, bleeding in the eyes, nose and mouth.
The ministry has, however, stressed that the deceased has not died of Ebola and that his burial will be conducted in a normal way.
Namarika explains that the patient was treated for a generalised bacterial infection and that there was no risk of Ebola since the patient had no recent travel or risk of contact with a case of Ebola.
“Preliminary lab results guided the management of the patient during therapy. Other lab test results are pending,” reads part of the statement.
The patient was transferred from Kapolo Rural Hospital to Karonga District Hospital after some reports had indicated that he was diagnosed with Ebola, a claim which the ministry has repeatedly dismissed.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population told The Daily Times on Monday that the deceased had been sick for five days before being taken to Kapolo Rural Hospital after receiving treatment from traditional healers.
The deceased was from James Village Traditional Authority Kilupula in the same district.
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.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.