Deadly disease raises alarms in Joburg

October 6, 2008

Deadly disease raises alarms in Joburg

Sapa Published:Oct 06, 2008

Three die following flu-like symptoms

THREE people have died of a mystery infectious disease in Johannesburg, the health department announced yester day.

�We are on high alert following the confirmation of three cases of an unknown highly infectious disease which has since led to three deaths,� the department said in a statement.

According to the department the first patient to die was a Zambian woman who was critically ill when she arrived on September 12 in South Africa. She was treated for tick-bite fever and other potential infections at Morningside Medi-Clinic.

�Two days later she died. Blood samples were taken and the results were not conclusive of any particular disease including viral hemorrhagic fevers.�

The second patient was a Zambian male paramedic who had accompanied the first patient. He was admitted on September 27 at the same facility with flu-like symptoms and treated for a variety of infections.

�His condition initially improved but deteriorated last Wednesday, and he died the following day.�

Tests for viral hemorrhagic fever and other infectious diseases were negative.

A nurse at Morningside Medi-clinic who came into contact with the first patient became ill and was admitted to Sir Albert Robinson hospital on the West Rand on Wednesday. �She passed away yesterday. Viral haemorrhagic fever and other formidable infectious diseases were negative.�

The department said systems were in place to monitor everyone who had contact with the deceased.

�Steve Biko Academic [formerly Pretoria Academic] and Charlotte Maxeke Academic [Johannesburg General] hospitals are on high alert and ready to handle any cases.�

Members of the community who have visited Zambia during the last month and who are suffering from raised temperatures or flu-like symptoms were requested to report to the nearest health facility for a medical examination or contact Dr Chika Asomugha on 082-330-1490.

THE TIMES

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