Jakarta. Health authorities have denied reports — sparked by news of a Ghanaian man being treated at a Jakarta hospital — that the Ebola epidemic has made its way into Indonesia.
“After conducting a polymerase chain reaction test, we can confirm that the [patient’s] case was not Ebola — there was no Ebola virus on the patient,” Tjandra Yoga Aditama, the Health Ministry's head of research, said on Monday.
The Ebola scare emerged following media reports that a 32-year-old Ghanaian man was being treated at the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital in North Jakarta, and might have been infected with Ebola.
The Health Ministry followed up on the news and tested the patient. Tjandar said Ebola patients normally showed symptoms such as fever, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea and hemorrhaging.
“Not all of these basic symptoms were found in the Ghanaian patient,” he said, without providing further information on the patient’s medical condition.
Tjandra emphasized that patients who traveled to Ebola-hit countries, or those with a history of direct contact with an Ebola patient, do need to be paid close attention to, but that this did not apply to the case of the Ghanaian man.
“I need to emphasize that the patient does not have this history. We only conducted an Ebola test as a precaution. The test was conducted with a high level of vigilance to protect our medical staff, and the test came out negative,” he said.
The World Health Organization reported that as of last Wednesday, 2,625 Ebola cases have been detected in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. At least 1,427 deaths throughout the recent outbreak have been documented by the organization.