Filipino seaman negative for Ebola

Posted at 08/23/14 8:13 PM

MANILA -- A Filipino seafarer in Togo, West Africa who showed Ebola-like symptoms, has tested negative of the virus, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Saturday.

Based on information gathered by the DFA from its embassy in Nigeria, the Filipino tested negative for Ebola. He was diagnosed to have the flu.

A senior health official in Togo said last Thursday that 2 suspected Ebola cases, including a seafarer from the Philippines, were being tested for the virus.

Ebola has killed 1,350 people this year, with most deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The Philippines remains Ebola-free, with strict measures being implemented in airports to monitor the entry of travelers, particularly from countries in Africa where the epidemic first struck.

Dr. Rose Capeding of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) said local health authorities are prepared to detect, isolate and manage possible cases of Ebola coming from affected countries.

"We are establishing collaboration with different agencies, the Bureau of Quarantine, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Health. May established na yun na system na once meron from these countries entering our country, dadalhin sa RITM. There will be history taking and tests will be done," she said in an interview on ANC's Dateline Philippines.

"We are capable of detecting the virus. RITM has negative pressure rooms that will prevent cross contamination so nandoon ang patient while being under quarantined, observed for 2 to 21 days," she added.