Quarantined Filipino peacekeeper develops fever, is being tested for Ebola

By Doris Bigornia

On the second day of a 21-day quarantine on Caballo Island, one of the Filipino peacekeepers who returned from Ebola-hit Liberia developed a fever. He also felt weak and experienced chills.

The Health Department says the peacekeeper immediately reported his condition to the medical team.

“When he exhibited signs of fever, tinignan po agad ng doctor,” said Janette Garin, acting health secretary. “The medical team is there and he was immediately transferred from his quarters to the isolation room. … The medical personnel examined him. They didn’t have to wear person protective equipment. Why? Because Ebola is not contagious if the patient does not have symptoms that exhibit a lot of secretions. Hindi siya nagsusuka, hindi nagtatae, walang plema, walang dugo na lumalabas sa katawan nya, walang sugat.”

The peacekeeper was then brought to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) on Friday afternoon for further tests.

The DOH says it is possible the peacekeeper has Malaria again – an illness he had when he was still in Liberia. He will be tested for that and the result will be out within a day. He will also be tested for Ebola, the result of which would be known in two days.

So far, his fever has been on and off.

“Nag chills siya kanina,” said Garin. “Nilalagnat at may pananakit ng katawan, but he’s conversant, he’s OK. Sabi nya, ‘ito yung nararamdaman ko dati when I had malaria,’ he can also feel that it’s a similar symptom but we just want to be sure for the sake of the patient and the Filipino people.”

Director of RITM Dr. Socorro Lupisan said, “The patient is manifesting other signs… Fever and chills – very typical of malaria. Pag malaria na po ang clinical manifestation, we will treat the patient as malaria.”

The DOH is again appealing to all Filipinos arriving from Ebola-hit countries to closely monitor their condition and immediately inform health authorities if they show any symptoms of Ebola.

“We keep on reminding people that if you came from these three countries – Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone – at lalo na nagkaroon ka ng contact sa pasyenteng na may Ebola, kelangan kaagad yung 21-day quarantine,” said acting health secretary Garin. “At kung may symptoms, dapat agad agad na matignan because early detection, early diagnosis, and early supportive care is very important for the survival of an Ebola patient.”

The DOH assures the public they have nothing to fear and that the Philippines remains Ebola-free.

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  • kikay Pang0
    14 November 2014 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    DOH is lacking of knowledge and proper equipment on how to handle Ebola patient …. this will end up a guessing game as usual.