A United States citizen has been tested for the ebola virus. Though most news outlets still seem to report that he’s being tested and writing how bad that is, the test already came back negative.
The unnamed man had been to Sierra Leone and Guinea in the past weeks.Those regions are infected with the ebola virus, especially Guinea. The Reuters infographic details the affected areas
After having been to Sierra Leone and Guinea, the man fell ill. He was quarantined and held in the Nyaho private facility in Accra while his blood was being tested in the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research. The head of disease surveillance at the Ghana Health Service, Badu Sarkodie, said that the result was negative but that further testing will be done. While the blood was being tested, the staff from the Nyaho clinic that handled or had been close to the man was kept in quarantine as well.
According to Bart Janssens, who is the director of operations for France’s Médecins Sans Frontières, the outbreak is now in it’s second wave and in his own words: “totally out of control”. And unless there is real political action, it will spread to more countries. That’s pretty bad news, because anyone who contracts the ebola virus has just a slim 10% chance of survival. But also because political action is lacking, as Janssens laments. Local authorities mistrust the organizations attempting to help, and without them announcing to the public that caring for infected people at home does more bad than good this pratice will continue to happen. This undermines the efforts to stop the outbreak.
Ebola has an incubation period of about 3 weeks. Sings of being infected are (high) fever, vomiting, bleeding and diarrhoea. But they don’t show up right away, so it is possible for an infected person to travel and infect others. This poses a huge threat if the virus reaches large cities with many people on the move. The biggest city hit so far is Conakry which has an international airport.
Even if you don’t have any cancellation insurance for your trip and if you don’t need to be there for professional healthcare reasons, cancel your trip. I think you’ll agree that this is not the time for a visit!