A 31-year-old male, suspecting himself to have contracted the Ebola virus, has been quarantined at home in Vasai by civic health officials as a precautionary measure to contain the suspected infection.
The Vasai resident returned back to India on July 28 from Lagos in Nigeria where he had been employed with a private firm. In absence of a screening facility at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport — which was initiated last week after an advisory was issued by the civic officials — he could not check himself for any ailments.
Within few days, he suffered from diarrhoea which is known to be one of the several symptoms of the Ebola virus diseases (EVD).
“He contacted the Delhi board number set up specially for Ebola after he feared he had contracted the infection. The health ministry got in touch with us and we admitted him in the hospital,” said Dr Anupama Rane, medical health officer at Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC).
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The self-suspecting man was admitted in the civic-run Sir DM Petit Municipal Hospital in Vasai (West) on Sunday. In absence of isolation chambers in the hospital, an entire ward was arranged to isolate the patient, said hospital sources.
On Monday, the 31-year-old was discharged from the hospital but was quarantined at home.
“The diarrhoea had subsided even before he was admitted to the hospital. We monitored his condition throughout the day and there are no symptoms present now. A decision to discharge him was therefore taken,” said Dr Gayatri Jorakh, medical officer at DM Petit hospital.
According to hospital sources, since the patient was asymptomatic and a sense of panic had ensued in the hospital, an immediate decision to discharge him was taken by hospital authorities.
“We have advised the family to strictly avoid physical contact with him. He cannot go out of the house for few days until we are sure. Although, it looks as if he has not contracted the virus,” said Rane.
The incubation period for Ebola ranges between 2-21 days. The Vasai resident has already spent 15 days in India and he has reportedly not complained of fever yet. His family had returned from Nigeria in April.
The travel history and employment details of the suspected case have been taken by the civic body.
Currently, in Mumbai the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has 10 beds in Kasturba Hospital, Chinchpokli, with isolation facility. An additional provision is being made in state-run JJ hospital and Jogeshwari based Trauma hospital (Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb hospital) for isolation beds.