An Ebola virus case was suspected in Lithuania but the guess was dismissed, Vice-Minister of Healthcare Erikas Mačiūnas said on Wednesday.
© Vida Press

"There was a case in Kaunas when a person running a high fever was suspected to have Ebola, we activated all measures, starting with the ambulance, the person was taken to a hospital of infectious diseases and placed in a special ward. Thank God, it [the diagnosis] was rejected and can be viewed as a successful drill," Mačiūnas told journalists after a meeting of the parliamentary Health Affairs Committee.

In his words, the suspicions arose as the feverish person had visited Africa – not the hotspot but Tunisia. "The symptoms of the Ebola haemorrhagic fever are very similar to those of regular flu, therefore, the main symptom is the question whether the person was in contact with people from west Africa or people who have travelled there," said the vice-minister.

Antanas Vinkus, adviser to Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius, said that the person in question was a university student who had been to Tunisia. He has convalesced already.

On Wednesday, the parliamentary committee was provided information about the risks of Ebola virus in Lithuania. The Lithuanian Centre for Contagious Diseases and AIDS has prepared guidelines for staff of healthcare institutions about conduct in case of Ebola haemorrhagic fever.

The World Health Organization says the Ebola outbreak, which is the largest in history so far, has claimed more than 2,400 lives, with twice as many infected.

The epidemic broke out in West Africa in March, then spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal, killing more people than all previous outbreaks since the discovery of the Ebola virus in 1976. No confirmed vaccines or medication against the disease exist.

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