No signs of Ebola virus for quarantined woman in Thailand

No signs of Ebola virus for quarantined woman in Thailand
There is no sign of panic in front of an isolation ward at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, after tests suggested that a Thai woman, investigated for possibly having the Ebola virus, was not infected with the fatal disease.

The Latest laboratory test on a 48-year-old woman, who had visited an African country hit by the Ebola outbreak, showed no sign she was infected with the deadly virus, Dr Narong Sahamethapat, permanent secretary at Public Health Ministry, said yesterday.

However, the woman, who had alerted the ministry that she had rashes after visiting Liberia, would have to remain in hospital for further monitoring, Narong said.

The woman, whose name was not revealed, arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Wednesday. Liberia is one of several West African countries hit by Ebola. The others include Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. At least 1,350 people have died from the disease outbreak since March.

The director of Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, Dr Jariya Saengsajja, said the woman was a little worried, as she had to be quarantined while doctors and nurses observing her condition had to wear protective gear.

"If she wants to contact them, she has to make a telephone call, so it is understandable that she would feel concerned," the doctor said.

The woman had a history of being easily allergic to many things, the doctor said. However her rashes were different from those of Ebola, which leads to bleeding and peeling of the skin.

Deputy head of Disease Control Dr Opas Karnkawin-pong said the woman had no fever and had 190,000 cubic millilitres of blood platelets, which is higher than those infected by Ebola who will have platelets lower than 150,000.

The doctors and experts will meet to discuss the laboratory test on the woman to decide when she should be discharged from the hospital.

13 others also monitored

The ministry has also monitored 13 others who were in contact with the woman. All were in a normal condition, Dr Opas said.

He said the media should respect her privacy, as there were reports that some media had tried to visit the woman's house.

The doctors were speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of some 550 medical personnel and scientists to map out a strategy to deal with the Ebola outbreak.

Dr Narong, who chaired the meeting, said that four hospitals in Bangkok had been assigned to take care of people suspected of being infected with Ebola.

They are Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, Nopparat Rajathanee and Rajvithi hospitals and Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health.

The four hospitals had been chosen because they could treat people of all ages.

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