Pakistan | News | Press releases | 2014 | Suspected case of Ebola at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi

Suspected case of Ebola at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi

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A joint Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, Health Department of the Government of Sindh, and World Health Organization (WHO) press release.  

1 December 2014, Islamabad – This morning, a 45 year-old national of Pakistan arrived at Karachi airport from Liberia, after a two day-long journey, where he had been on a business trip. The passenger presented with a fever and general weakness, which he associated with journey fatigue.

The passenger was immediately identified by airport authorities through appropriate application of the Ebola response standard operating procedures at ports of entry, recently reviewed by the WHO Expert Assessment Mission deployed last week. The contact history related by the patient indicates no direct contact with anyone possibly affected by Ebola virus disease. 

In response the following measures have been taken:

  1. Immediate isolation of the passenger at the Karachi airport and tracing of passenger travel and contact history undertaken by the airport health authorities.
  2. Secure transportation of the passenger to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi, the designated reference centre for any suspected Ebola case in Sindh province.
  3. Complete isolation of the patient in a dedicated ward at the medical centre.
  4. Deployment, in the afternoon, of a rapid Ebola response team with the task of applying proven Ebola protection measures, detailed patient travel and contact history confirmation, further contact tracking and subsequent protective measures, and case confirmation.
  5. A blood sample will be taken once all infection control measures are in place.
  6. Personal protective equipment type-B (compatible with Ebola patient care) are currently in stock at the WHO warehouse and will be dispatched immeditately to Karachi.
  7. Immediate official communication by this communiqué to the press, which will be followed-up by daily communiqués as appropriate.

The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, the Health Department of the Government of Sindh,and WHO in Pakistan are in agreement with the measures taken, and wish to commend the airport authorities and their health officers for the action taken in full compliance with procedures.

WHO acknowledges the public concern with the disease, but reiterates that the likelihood of Ebola transmission without a history of direct contact with a patient symptomatically affected with Ebola is very low. WHO therefore calls for all communications on the subject to be strictly based on information derived from reliable and authorized sources.  

 Ebola virus disease