Brazil quarantines Guinean feared to have Ebola

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Brazil quarantines Guinean feared to have Ebola

Brasília (AFP) - Brazilian health officials Friday quarantined a Guinean man feared to have Ebola, but stressed it was a precautionary measure and the man no longer had a fever or other symptoms.

The 47-year-old man had arrived from Africa last month. He checked into a clinic in the town of Cascavel having had a fever on Wednesday, and on Friday was taken in an air force plane from the southern state of Parana to the National Infectious Disease Institute (Fiocruz) in Rio de Janeiro.

"The patient is stable, he does not have a fever nor other symptoms," Health Minister Arthur Chioro told a press conference in Brasilia.

The minister added the patient had told Fiocruz monitors that he had confirmed before leaving Guinea, in a pre-travel screening, that "he had not been in any contact with (Ebola) cases."

However, his case was considered suspect, as the fever presented "within the incubation period" for Ebola of 21 days, Chioro told an initial news conference.

He stressed health authorities had the situation "under control" with all procedures undertaken within the proper response time.

Health officials logged 64 possible contacts between the patient and others after he went to the health center, but only three "direct" contacts with other people, the minister said.

Other patients who were in the clinic with him have also been isolated and the site disinfected, radio network CBN reported.

The patient, who arrived in Brazil on September 19, flew from the Guinean capital Conakry to Argentina, with a layover in Morocco.

He then traveled overland to Brazil, according to television network Globo News, which said he was seeking refugee status.

Parana state had two previous Ebola alerts which proved false alarms.

But the latest case is the first time the alert has reached the level of the national health ministry.

Symptoms of Ebola can resemble other diseases indigenous to Brazil, such as malaria and dengue fever.

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been the countries hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak that erupted at the beginning of the year, killing nearly 4,000 people so far -- roughly half of those infected.

The disease causes fever, diarrhea, vomiting and in some cases internal and external bleeding.

It is spread by contact and the exchange of bodily fluids.