Ebola false alarm kick-starts quarantine

A young Nigerian man who was admitted to Alicante’s San Juan Hospital on suspicion of suffering from the deadly Ebola virus has been given the all clear.

He was being cared for in an isolation unit after showing signs of the virus including high fever, physical discomfort, vomiting and bleeding, but doctors now believe he may just be suffering from a throat infection.

The man was admitted to a general hospital and allegedly kept waiting for six hours before being transferred to San Juan when his symptoms were recognised as being similar to that of Ebola victims. The decision to raise the alarm and start isolation protocols was taken when it became clear that the patient had travelled through an Ebola-affected zone within the last month.

San Juan is the designated centre in Alicante for dealing with cases of serious infection.

Samples taken from the young man were sent to the Spanish National Microbiology Centre near Madrid for analysis, and have come back as negative. There will be no further testing as it cannot be proved that the patient has come into contact with anyone infected with the virus. 

This is the second time in the last few months that a quarantine protocol has come into effect in the Valencia region for a possible case of the Ebola virus. On June 23 a Guinean citizen was placed in isolation after arriving on a flight from Morocco and displaying symptoms similar to the virus, but this case too proved to be negative.  

The man remains in hospital under observation.

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