First suspected Ebola case emerges in Pakistan

Published: November 24, 2014
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

FAISALABAD: A man in Chiniot was rushed to a local hospital in critical condition and has been kept under isolation, with doctors fearing he may have contracted the deadly Ebola virus.

Zulfiqar Ahmad, 40, who resides in Chiniot, returned to Pakistan on November 16 after working for the Togolese Republic in West Africa.

Ahmad faced multiple health-related problems and was admitted to the DHQ Hospital in Chiniot and later shifted to the Allied Hospital by his relatives.

After conducting initial diagnostic tests, doctors said that he may have contracted the Ebola virus.

“He is a chronic patient of various diseases, and was previously admitted in a hospital in Togo for more than 20 days,” Medical Superintendent (MS) Allied Hospital Dr Rashid Maqbool told The Express Tribune.

He also stated that Ahmad has a serious liver issue and has been vomiting blood.

“He is in a critical condition and is being provided with maximum facilities available at the hospital. His blood and other samples have been taken which have been sent to the National Health Laboratory in Islamabad to ascertain the possibility of the Ebola virus attack,” Dr Maqbool said.

Further, the doctor said that a special team has been constituted to provide Ahmad exclusive treatment. He added that on the arrival of the analysis report, the possibility of the virus could be ruled out and decided accordingly.

Last month, the Sindh Assembly adopted a resolution recommending the Sindh government to take precautionary measures against the Ebola virus by establishing isolation wards to quarantine Ebola patients, have Ebola screening desks and to approach the federal government to setup such desks at airports and railway stations.

As of October, the Ebola death rate has gone up to 70 per cent according to the World Health Organisation.

“What we’re finding is 70% mortality,” said Bruce Aylward, assistant director-general of the WHO.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Saad
    Nov 24, 2014 - 7:30PM

    I hope the hospital in Chiniot was equipped and ready to handle an ebola case. All the best to the patient.

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  • LabTest?
    Nov 24, 2014 - 7:55PM

    Please have a reliable Lab Test of EBOLA virus then decide what is it. Either he HAS IT or DON’T HAVE it. His HISTORY if illnesses has nothing to do with Ebola “Positive Result.”

    All Papers: Please do not use Health Scare tactic for publishing-business profit!

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  • Syme
    Nov 24, 2014 - 8:29PM

    @Saad. Even first world countries don’t have what we are expecting from a DHQ of Chiniot. If the suspicion is Ebola then he shouldn’t be shifted to Allied Hospital. Even at mere mention of Ebola should prompt an exemplary response. It is a deadly disease and highly contagious. Doctors, paramedics and family involved in care are at risk in particular and community in general.

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  • Shakil Khan
    Nov 24, 2014 - 9:27PM

    Why report suspected case? wait for confirmation! If confirmed, you never know how many he has infected already who were in close contact with him!

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  • Naeem
    Nov 24, 2014 - 9:52PM

    Get well soon! God bless!

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  • Imran Qadri
    Nov 24, 2014 - 9:53PM

    If it really is ebola then we are in big trouble. Our country is even worse then Africa when it comes to dealing with such contagious diseases. We simply don’t have resources and expertise and even if we had resources and expertise then too our system is too corrupt to handle such a dangerous disease .

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  • maria
    Nov 24, 2014 - 10:01PM

    i cant believe this……….. did they not keep him under quarantine at the airport …….i hope its negative because Pakistan is definitely not ready for such an outbreak :( :(

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  • Syed Guftaar Raza Gillani
    Nov 24, 2014 - 10:10PM

    This is a serious case. The least the hospital can and must do is quarantine the suspect so as to decrease spread for now. Go easy, people.

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  • TUNG
    Nov 24, 2014 - 11:33PM

    yar atleast confirm the case before writing something like this! you just gave me a heart attackRecommend

  • Khadim Hussain subhpoto
    Nov 24, 2014 - 11:46PM

    I do hope his reports are negative. Pakistan can ill-afford the outbreak of this deadly and highly contagious disease. May Allah save us from this horrible disease. Our government, however, should take necessary and effective steps as precautionary or preventive measures.

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  • abc
    Nov 24, 2014 - 11:47PM

    Come on the govt must screen all passengers coming from affected places.

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  • Ali Rizvi
    Nov 25, 2014 - 1:00AM

    Togo has never reported a single case of Ebola and this man coming from Togo is being suspected of Ebola?

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  • Seriously
    Nov 25, 2014 - 1:14AM

    Togo does not have Ebola…………. It doesn’t even boarder the affected countries. Please check you geography knowledge and especially your Ebola knowledge.

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  • Nov 25, 2014 - 1:58AM

    Why are you spreading fake and false rumors?

    check this for cnfirmed news http://offlineclinic.com/first-ebola-victim-in-pakistan-fake-rumor/1136/

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  • Nov 25, 2014 - 9:20AM

    @Doctor:
    ET did not published my comment last night, I saw news last night and it said that the person is diagnosed with Dengue and not Ebola.

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  • sharabi
    Nov 25, 2014 - 10:18AM

    @Saad
    No Pakistan does not posses such capability, only A 21 countries posses Level 4 safety mechanism. Sad but Truth

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  • Mohammed Sulaiman
    Nov 25, 2014 - 11:25AM

    Zmaap is the medicine that can cure in Ebola. 2nd very very Important thing is that “Take all those persons under special care at once, who has got connection with that person directly or indirectly. Seperated Rooms must be provided to all patient, relatives, children, medical staff, doctor, who has got connection with this person” Hospital staff should buy Special Suits, Boots, Masks, Gloves Now.

    Burn all thos stuff which is used by this person. Remember Life is very Important!!

    If we used all these safty precautions, InshAllah Ebola will die by itself and there will be no harm to Pakistanis life.

    Passengers from all African countries must not travel to Pakistan NOW!

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  • Ahmed Shahid
    Nov 25, 2014 - 12:23PM

    Dear All,

    For God Sake educate our people at airports. First when they hear about a person returning from Afria and see passport they lose their mind and panic as every country and every person coming from Africa is Ebolla infected. This is happening at airport and than it was informed to them that please donot panic, please read on internet about the infected countries and see in passport if the person has visited any infected country in last one year. It is simply out of question that person coming from South Africa is questionned by non medical person to prove that he is not Ebolla infected. These idiots mainly FIA people do not understand that Ebolla infected countries might be more near to Pakistan than South Africa but these idiots see South Africa and than start non technical discussion and dignostics of disease through their typical police style.

    Please educate these people at Airport.

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  • Mohammed Sulaimann
    Nov 25, 2014 - 1:44PM

    Ebola must stop in Pakistan at any cost. We Damm Care if all Africans have to face this situation at Pakistani Airports… Pakistanis are not TEST PERSONS. If necessary asked Africians or African living Pakistanis returning back to Pakistan, to go back to Africa and DIE there. We don’t have places for EBOLA in Pakistan. Pakistanis are not born for Testing Epidemic..

    FIA must strickly forbidden Africans to enter into Pakistan and put all its efforts to stop these Epidemic in Pakistan.

    FOR GOD SAKE 180 Million Pakistanis can die due to a single Ebola effected Person.

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  • Ahzam kazmi
    Nov 25, 2014 - 6:33PM

    @Saad:
    No it was not ready for ebola i live in chiniot and there is no such facility in that hospital

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  • Gid Asert
    Nov 25, 2014 - 9:27PM

    ISLAMABAD (Dunya News)—World Health Organization has warned on Thursday that Ebola virus might spread to Pakistan sooner or later.

    Speaking to British media, WHO Representative in Pakistan Dr Michel Thieren said that since Ebola virus is spreading faster across the world, Pakistan is also at a high risk of it. He suggested Pakistan government to take speedy precautionary measures and steps against the deadly disease.

    According to Dr Michel, international passengers can carry the virus anywhere they travel. Michel stated that no measures at the airport can be taken to prevent the virus from spreading in the country. Enhanced screening for Ebola can be introduced at airports though. Therefore, government can’t be held responsible for it.

    However, raising awareness about the possible indications of the virus amongst the masses and the security officials at the airport can be the most effective way to defend against Ebola.

    Earlier, the Ministry of National Health on Wednesday prepared an emergency plan to deal with the Ebola virus; as per which, the incoming passengers from African countries will be screened and medical personnel will be trained.

    According to the details, a high level meeting to discuss how to deal with the deadly Ebola virus took place in Islamabad. The meeting approved creation of ‘Ebola counters’ at the airports, temporary clinics and special wards in the hospitals.

    It was also decided that the Pakistan army personnel arriving from the peace keeping mission will be monitored for twenty one days. The provincial governments have also been directed to arrange screening and monitoring of passengers coming from African countries.

    World Health Organization’s (WHO) Dr Michel has already termed Ebola virus a big threat and recommended training of medical staff. As per WHO, there are no Ebola affected patients in Pakistan right now, however, if even a single affected patient entered in country without screening can cause the outbreak.

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  • Syed Guftaar Raza Gillani
    Nov 26, 2014 - 3:00AM

    Lighten up, people. The NHSR&C and WHO confirmed today that the patient was, in fact, merely in the terminal stage of hepatitis C, coupled with an episode of dengue hemorrhagic fever. He passed away at the Allied Hospital in Faisalabad last night. Rest in peace.

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  • Amin
    Nov 27, 2014 - 1:08AM

    The patient was my Good freind. We worked together in Togo for about a year and we even lived together in the same house for a few months. He was always complaining about heart problems which he said we’re effecting him since childhood. In about July he was admitted in hospital, in Togo for almost a months for liver problems. With the will of Allah he recovered and became the best worker and received many Awards. There is no signs of Ebola in Togo. There has not even been a single case of Ebola. May Allah make it easy for his family and enter him to The highest rank of Janaah. Ameeen

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  • Aslam
    Dec 29, 2014 - 11:23PM

    Dear Concerned,
    Could you help if I want to help required in such case I think a lady effected to this dangerous virus in Karachi, Where I contact for

    Aslam

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  • FastSlippingTime
    Dec 30, 2014 - 1:08AM

    It’s shocking to see “Ebola” virus news was Hottest Topic about a month ago! It’s looks as if it was a year ago.
    Hopefully it’s under better control than a month ago. Hopefully Pak Disease Control Center has not dropped its guards and went on vacation. It actually still out there with full force.

    Recommend

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