Test results expected within the next few hours; if confirmed it would be the first case of the deadly virus in Asia, which has killed nearly 1,000 people in West Africa since March
A 31-year-old Nigerian man suspected to have the Ebola virus was admitted to a Hong Kong hospital on Sunday, the city’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said. The centre is expected to announce tests result in the next few hours. If confirmed, it would be the first case of the deadly virus in Asia. The Nigerian arrived in Hong Kong from Nigeria on Thursday and had been staying at a guest house in Chungking Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui, according to reports in the Chinese-language press. He was sent to hospital this morning after experiencing diarrhoea, one of the fatal disease’s early symptoms, hospital sources said. An ambulance first took the man to Queen Elizabeth Hospital before he was transferred to the Infectious Disease Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital on Sunday evening, the sources said. The Department of Health this afternoon said it would not comment on individual cases and would make a public announcement if any case is confirmed. The World Health Organisation on Thursday declared the Ebola epidemic in West Africa an international public health emergency needing a coordinated global response. The outbreak has killed nearly 1,000 people in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria since it was first reported in March. Hong Kong’s CHP has stepped up precautions against the disease, such as installing detection systems at hospitals and border crossings. More than 10,000 travellers arrive in Hong Kong from the four countries every year. All would be placed under closer health surveillance upon arrival, and leaflets would be handed out at entry points, CHP Controller Dr Leung Ting-hung said on Thursday. In the event of an Ebola case being identified, all those in close contact with the patient would be put in quarantine and banned from departing the city under the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance, Leung said. The Ebola virus is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids from an infected person. There is currently no approved cure or vaccine.