Fatal virus in Ghana tests negative for Ebola

Source: Reuters - Mon, 7 Apr 2014 13:37 GMT
Author: Reuters
In this 2012 file photo doctors work in a laboratory on collected samples of the Ebola virus at the Centre for Disease Control in Entebbe, Uganda. REUTERS/Edward Echwalu
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ACCRA, April 7 (Reuters) - Blood tests have shown that a 12-year-old girl in Ghana who died of viral fever with bleeding did not have Ebola, Health Minister Sherry Ayittey said on Monday.

The girl was the first suspected case in Ghana of Ebola, which has killed more than 90 people in Guinea and Liberia. Another suspected case has been reported in Mali.

Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres has warned of an unprecedented epidemic in an impoverished region with weak health services.

Samples from the girl, who has not been identified, were brought to the capital Accra from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana's second-largest city.

"The report from the Noguchi Memorial Institute says categorically that the samples of the blood they analysed is negative ID Ebola virus and also negative of any common viral fever," Ayittey told a news conference.

"We would like to allay the fears of Ghanaians that the Ebola virus has been detected in Ghana," she said.

Ayittey said Ghana, which borders Togo, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, has stepped up its health surveillance since the Guinea outbreak.

It has trained port and borders workers to detect signs of the disease, set up a national committee, restocked testing equipment and established a telephone hotline, she said. (Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Joe Bavier/Jeremy Gaunt)

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