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No case of Ebola in Gabon (official)

Published on Saturday 20 May 2017 | Gabon News

Libreville - There is no case of ebola virus disease in Gabon, hammered Friday night on Gabon Television's national television set Gabon Television, the Director-General of Health, Dr. Anne Marie Antchouet Ambourhouet who however asserted that Gabon faced a false alarm on Friday.

The alert was given by the crew of an airliner from Yaoundé in Cameroon with a passenger suffering from vomiting and diarrhea with profuse sweating.

The aircraft was in transit for Lomé in Togo its final destination. The team alerted the Gabonese air authorities of the presence on board the aircraft of the sick passenger.

"On arrival, the aircraft was isolated to an area intended for this type of incident. As soon as the alert was given, a crisis meeting was held at the airport, which was attended by the Central Epidemic Response Committee, the Ministry of Health, a WHO expert, Military health, airport authorities as well as civil aviation services, "explained Dr. Antouchouet Ambourhouet.

"The various operational teams carried out the temperature measurement by thermo-flash of all the passengers and the crew members, to the epidemiological investigation of rigor in such circumstances, to the classification of the patient, to the routine samples, The disinfection of the aircraft's sanitary facilities and the communication of circumstance to explain to the passengers the procedures in progress and reassure them, "she continued.

It appears that the patient is a 57-year-old Congolese subject who left Kinshasa since 10 May 2017 for Douala. On 17 May, he took a fish meal that was not fresh and gave him, within a few hours, gastroenteritis with diarrhea and vomiting. Having had no fever in spite of these symptoms, the patient flew this Friday morning. His gastric embarrassment continued on board.

"In view of the epidemic situation prevailing in the sub-region, the crew considered it useful to report cases," said the Director-General of Health.

After the intervention that lasted 3 hours. The diagnosis is that of a "non-febrile gastroenteritis due to food poisoning".

"The passenger is not suspected of ebola virus disease. He has received anti-diarrheal treatment and the usual withdrawals have been made as recommended by the international regulation, "said Mrs. Antououet Ambourhouet.

No patient was kept in solitary confinement. Their coordinates were taken to have traceability when needed. The plane was able to take off again.

"To date, no suspected cases of Ebola disease are reported in Gabon. I repeat, no suspected case of ebola virus disease is reported in Gabon to date, "she insisted.

Gabon has reactivated its operational epidemic response committees throughout the country. It has raised its level of passive health surveillance to a level of health vigilance which corresponds to an orange alert level in view of the epidemic prevailing in the sub-region, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in particular.

Ebola virus diseases are manifested by fevers and bleeding. Gabon has been hit by several epidemics of Ebola. It has a reference laboratory to quickly detect suspicious cases.

Carl Nsitou

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