By William Madouk Garang
The national Ministry of Health has said the two samples of suspected Ebola cases taken out of the country for investigations have tested negative for the virus.
On Monday, health authorities in Juba with support from World Health Organization (WHO) sent three samples out of five unconfirmed cases of Ebola to South Africa for thorough laboratory analysis.
The samples were collected from Nimule in Eastern Equatoria and Yambio in Western Equatoria State after two patients presented Ebola signs and symptoms.
In an exclusive interview with No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, the Undersecretary at the National Ministry of Health, Dr. Victoria Anib said the samples test returned negative, adding that there’s no need for panic.
“We have only taken two samples and both tested negative. As we speak, there is no positive Ebola case in the country,” said Dr. Anib.
“There is no need to panic, I want citizens to be calm – there is no any Ebola case confirmed as of now, and if there is any case of Ebola confirmed we are going to tell the public officially,” she continued.
Dr. Anib revealed that South Sudan has memorandum of understanding with two countries – Uganda and Kenya for Ebola virus disease testing.
She said people are rumoring that “the patient who passed on in Kajokeji” is an Ebola case which is unlikely because his close contacts have no any symptom of the virus.
Dr. Anib is calling on the public to remain vigilant and avoid circulating unverified information about the virus.
Last month, Ebola outbreak was declared in Uganda after health authorities confirmed a case of the relatively rare Sudan strain in Mubende District in the central part of the country.
The caseload stood at 43 with nine confirmed deaths, and nearly 900 contact cases identified.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni ruled out the possibility to impose a Covid-like lockdown in order to contain the highly contagious Ebola Virus, saying the country had the capacity to contain the outbreak.
Ebola is an often-fatal viral hemorrhagic fever. The disease is named after a river in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where it was discovered in 1976.
Human transmission is through body fluids, consuming infected animals like monkeys and antelopes found ill or dead. Main symptoms are fever, vomiting, bleeding, sore throat, fatigue and diarrhea.
Outbreaks are difficult to contain, especially in urban environments. People who are infected do not become infectious until symptoms appear which is after an incubation period of two and 21 days.
After Uganda Ebola outbreak, South Sudan national ministry of health and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the activation of the Ebola management systems.
South Sudan Cabinet then approved $500,000 (approximately SSP 330 Million), Ebola emergency respond funds, to upped the surveillance within its borders and prevent possible inflow of Ebola Virus into the country.