But diagnosed with malaria
The Filipino peacekeeper who recently arrived from Liberia and who developed fever and chills on Friday tested negative for Ebola, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Saturday.
However, the soldier has malaria, according to Health Acting Secretary Janette Garin.
“He is now all right and undergoing treatment for malaria. Every eight hours his blood is being examined to ensure the progress,” Garin said in a press briefing at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) in Quezon City. She explained that it was the malaria infection that caused the fever to recur.
Garin said they expect the soldier, who has been given a combination therapy to fight malaria, to be in stable condition within three to five days.
She said that the presence of malaria either stemmed from two possible reasons.
“It is possible that when he was treated before, the treatment was not properly done. The other probable reason was he was afflicted with malaria one or two weeks before he left Liberia,” the DOH acting chief said.
Since the soldier is not carrying the Ebola virus, there is no need to isolate him, Garin said. She added that the patient will be moved to a regular room soon.
The peacekeeper was among more than 100 soldiers who came home last week from Liberia. They were immediately whisked off to Caballo Island in Manila where they will undergo quarantine for 21 days.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines earlier said the soldiers were subjected to a United Nations-supervised Ebola-screening test in Monrovia before they were sent home. All of them tested negative for the killer virus.
Two days after their arrival, one of the soldiers developed fever and was taken to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
Garin said the RITM repeatedly conducted confirmatory test for Ebola in its laboratory to ensure accuracy of the test. It also conducted tests to check whether the patient had developed anti-bodies also to Ebola.
The Health official said the soldier will be transferred to Caballo island once he recovers from malaria.
“It is good that the disease was detected early so there will be no complications. We thank the vigilance of the RITM,” she added.
MARIS LALOG WITH PNA