By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Officials announced the first suspected case of Ebola in Brazil on Friday, October 10th. Recorded in the state of Paraná, on Thursday, October 9th, doctors transported the patient to Rio de Janeiro on the 10th for treatment at the Instituto Evandro Chagas, a known center in the country for treatment of infectious diseases.
The patient is Souleymane Bah, a forty-seven year old immigrant from Guinea, one of the three countries in west Africa most affected by the current Ebola outbreak.
Bah reportedly arrived in Brazil in September and on the evening of October 9th, feeling ill with symptoms that included a fever, sore throat and cough, he sought treatment in the city of Cascavel in Paraná.
Although, Bah was not bleeding, a symptom of some Ebloa sufferers, two infectious disease specialists from the Ministry of Health’s Department of Health Surveillance, arrived in Cascavel to examine him. It was later decided to transfer him to Rio de Janeiro for additional treatment.
Bah first arrived in Brazil on September 19th at the Guarulhos International Airport in São Paulo. On the 24th, Bah is recorded as staying in the city of Dionísio Cerqueira, Santa Catarina and next Bah was recorded in Cascavel, Paraná.
The Municipal Secretary of Health for Cascavel stated that Bah had contact of some kind with sixty-eight people. All of the contacts are now being monitored for the next twenty-one days due to the fact that Ebola symptoms may appear anywhere from two to twenty-one days after exposure to the virus.
While the most recent medical reports state Bah is currently without symptoms including; fever, bleeding or diarrhea and that he is in generally good health, Bah remains in complete isolation.
During a press conference held on Friday, The Health Minister, Arthur Chioro stated; “The situation is under control,” adding, “All procedures were done in a very timely response and in compliance with all the requirements of protocol,” said Chioro.
Additionally during the conference, Chioro explained ; “Ebola it is a viral disease that has no treatment. The vaccine and the drug being used in the USA are experimental. The patient was asymptomatic, no vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding, only complains of headache. So he is being treated symptomatically. The National Institute of Infectious Fiocruz, Ministry of Health, is an institution of great expertise and has plenty of capacity to conduct the case safely. The risk of an outbreak of Ebola in the country is very low.”
Update-The Health Ministry announced early on Saturday morning that Bah’s tests for Ebola came back negative. Blood samples had been sent to the Instituto Evandro Chagas, in Belém. Bah will be tested again in 48 hours as a precaution but officials say the changes of a positive result are remote.
Sixty-four people, who had contact with Bah and were in quarantine, will be released.