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‘Mysterious disease in Zambia not ebola’
Lusaka, Zambia (PANA) – The woman from Zambia who died in South Africa from a mysterious disease was in fact afflicted by cerebral edema and multi-organ failure, health experts disclosed here, putting to rest suspicions that she was hit by the deadly ebola virus.The state-run Times of Zambia reported that five experts who carried out the investigations on two of the four people who have so died of the mysterious disease revealed that the woman could have died from suspected viral infection from a tick bite that she incurred in Lusaka.
Between 6-8 September this year, she was said to have attended a wedding in South Africa, where she might have had food poisoning along with six others, all of whom had developed diarrheoa, vomiting and headache.

On 10 September, she developed a rash, fever and chest congestion and was attended to by a doctor at Care for Business Clinic in Lusaka, who told her that she had flu and sent her home.

The victim was flown to South Africa on 12 September, after her condition deteriorated as she had seizures, and she died on 14 September

Most of the people she came in contact with, including her family, two doctors and employees at CMC had not shown any symptoms of the disease.

But a paramedic who had spent time with her during her seizure also died from multi-organ failure on 1 October, almost two weeks after the meeting. He died at Morningside Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa after being flown there.

The third victim was a nurse based at the clinic, who had attended to the first patient, while the fourth one, a cleaner at the same health institution, died in the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

The Permanent Secretary in Zambia’s Ministry of Health, Simon Miti, said that the health authorities in the country had been put on high alert against any symptoms similar to those that afflicted the four dead people.
He said apart from putting health institutions on high alert, authorities had also deployed officers at ports of entry to monitor the situation for symptoms of the disease.

He said that all the tests conducted in South Africa on the deceased people were negative to the initial suspicions and that the disease remained a mystery.