First suspected Ebola patient, returned from Togo, dies in Pakistan

Ebola-3dA patient suspected to be suffering from Ebola virus disease (EVD) died in the Pakistani industrial city of Faisalabad on Tuesday morning, hospital sources and the media said.

Zulfiqar Ahmad, 40, a resident of Chiniot district in Punjab province, returned to Pakistan from the sub-Saharan nation of Togo Nov 16.

If confirmed, this will be the first death in Pakistan of Ebola virus — the deadly disease that has killed more than 5,000 people in West Africa, especially in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Doctors and the victim’s family members said Zulfiqar was a chronic patient of various diseases and hospitalised for nearly three weeks in Togo before coming to Pakistan, according to Xinhua.

Medical Superintendent Rashid Maqbool of Allied Hospital in Faisalabad told the media Monday that the patient had serious liver issues and that blood was coming from his mouth, urine and bowel.

He was in a critical condition when brought to the hospital from a local hospital in his hometown. His blood and urine samples were also sent to the country’s main testing laboratory, the National Institute of Health, in Islamabad.

Doctors were waiting for his test reports that will determine whether or not it was the Ebola virus. The patient was kept in an isolation ward and had been under treatment by a special team, hospital sources said.

The suspected EVD-affected man died at a time when a World Health Organisation (WHO) mission arrived in Islamabad Monday to review the government’s arrangements to keep the Ebola virus out of the country, WHO officials say.

Reports said the mission would visit Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi airports and other entry points to assess arrangements to deal with an affected person arriving in the country.

WHO Country Head, Michel Torres, said the five-member team would also assess the patient, hospital safety and measures at airports and other entry points to stop the virus from entering the country. (IANS)

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