KZN radiographer in hospital
A radiographer has been admitted to Durban’s St Augustine’s hospital after displaying symptoms similar to those of the recently identified arenavirus, which led to the deaths of three people in Gauteng in the past three weeks.
It was confirmed last night that the radiographer came into contact with the virus carriers while working at Johannesburg’s Morningside Medi-Clinic.
St Augustine’s hospital manager Augusta Dorning confirmed that a “seriously ill patient” had been admitted to the hospital. She said early indications, as confirmed by symptoms and tests, suggested that the patient did not have the arenavirus.
“We are, however, extremely cautious and she has therefore been placed in total isolation, and barrier nursing and comprehensive infection control measures has been implemented. “Until we receive a definite negative test result for the arenavirus, these measures will remain in place.”
“We will not disclose any information about the patient. We are working closely with the National Institute of Communicable Diseases and the local department of health in this regard,” Dorning said.
An institute virologist, Dr Lucille Blumberg, said further tests were needed to confirm the diagnosis. “She did not have close contact and it has also taken a very long time for her to develop a low grade fever. “It is unlikely that she is a legitimate case of the virus but we will take every precaution.”
She added that physicians could wait two days for the results of a new test developed for the disease.
Health department spokesperson Leon Mbangwa said health institutions across the province were on high alert for the virus.
“If a person arrives at these places with even flu-like symptoms, panic alarms will go off.”(Snip)”According to my knowledge, no potential carriers have made their way to KwaZulu-Natal. “If there has been someone, there is obviously a problem with the tracing system.”
Meanwhile, the fourth person diagnosed with the disease is in isolation at the Medi-Clinic. The infected nursing sister, who is in a stable condition, contracted the virus while looking after the second person to die, paramedic Hannes Els.