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Pakistan’s first suspected case of Ebola passes away in Faislabad


Faislabad: Zulfiqar Ahmed, aged 40, suspected to be suffering from Ebola died in Faislabad today, 25th of November at the Allied Hospital of the city.

Zulfiqar Ahmed had recently returned to Pakistan from Togo on the 16th of November and was admitted to a local hospital in Chiniot. He was later shifted to the Allied Hospital Faislabad when his condition continued to deteriorate and the symptoms showed no signs of improvement. The officials at the Allied Hospital ran diagnostic tests and on the basis of the symptoms, speculated that it may an Ebola Virus Disease case.

According to family members, Zulfiqar showed symptoms including bleeding from the mouth and nose upon returning from Togo. Blood samples of the patient were immediately sent to the National Institute of Health, Islamabad for analysis.

A team of six officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) reached Islamabad on Monday to evaluate and assess the case, and the prevention measures being taken to protect people from the disease. Among the various objectives of the team are: Inspection of hospital isolation wards, offering professional training to medical staff for the management of the disease, and establishing strict scanning protocol at all airports.

The Ebola Virus Disease has recently claimed the lives of more than five thousand people in different parts of Africa. Health officials have been directed to remain vigilant and alert, to implement immediate preventive measures, and to raise awareness among people about the different symptoms of the disease.

Update: 12:41PM 25-November-2014

According to administration officials at the Allied Hospital Faisalabad, Zulfiqar Ahmed was admitted on the 22nd of November and expired on the 25th. Consultants at the Hospital confirmed a provisional diagnosis of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever, suspecting Ebola as one of the causes. The patient passed away due to multiple organ failure.

Officials also stated that the definite cause of death cannot be determined till blood culture reports are released. “We cannot say anything more till the blood report comes, and that can take up to ten days,” said one hospital official.

It was revealed previously that Zulfiqar’s blood samples were sent to the National Institute of Health, Islamabad. However, when contacted, the NIH Medical Officer Molecular Epidemiology, Jalil Kamran denied having received any blood samples of the patient.

Updated: 15:03 25-November-2014

According to a joint statement given by the NHRSC and WHO, Zulfiqar Ahmed died of Hepatitis C and Dengue, and that Togo is not among the African countries affected by Ebola. The statement comes as a surprise because administration officials at the Allied Hospital Faislabad maintain that the blood reports have not returned and a definite diagnosis cannot be confirmed unless the blood culture reports are released.


Events on the story in chronological order is reported here 

November 25, 2014

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