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Filipino peacekeeper has malaria, not Ebola

(philstar.com) | Updated November 15, 2014 - 4:03pm

malaria or ebola?
Philippine Navy photo shows peacekeepers who returned from Liberia arriving on Caballo Island yesterday to begin a 21-day quarantine period as part of government protocol against the Ebola virus.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is still Ebola-free.

The Department of Health on Saturday released the results of further tests done on a Filipino United Nations peacekeeper previously deployed in Liberia reported to have fever, chills and body malaise on Friday.

Acting Health Secretary Janet Farin said that the unnamed peacekeeper, who was quarantined with 132 others in Caballo Island off Manila, was tested positive for malaria, and not for the dreaded Ebola virus that caused the death of thousands in West Africa.

"Negatibo po ang Ebola test sa ating pasyente," Garin said in a statement. "Subalit, ikinalulungkot nating malaman na positibo siya sa malaria. May nakita pong Plasmodium falciparum sa kanyang dugo."

He was brought to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, or RITM, in Muntinlupa City late Friday to undergo tests. The peacekeeper previously contracted malaria, with Saturday's results confirming that it has recurred.

READ: Filipino peacekeeper from Liberia has fever
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International health observers note, however, that while many fear Ebola, malaria is far deadlier. World Health Organization's statistics on malaria indicate that every 30 seconds someone in Africa dies from the disease, which is transmitted through mosquito bites.

About 90 percent of deaths from malaria occurred in Africa.

Garin said, meanwhile, that the peacekeeper is subjected to combination drug treatment to prevent complications.

"Mabuti at maaga po itong naagapan kung saan wala pang komplikasyon," she said.

The Philippine military had said that all the peacekeepers coming home to the Philippines from Liberia tested negative for Ebola after rigid screening by the United Nations.

Still, they had to be under quarantine in Caballo, called "Paradise Island" at the mouth of Manila Bay, as precautionary measure.

The troops arrived on a chartered flight but were not allowed to meet with relatives. The families applauded as they watched a video of arrival ceremonies at an air base from inside the Philippine air force museum building.

The military said the troops will be housed in air-conditioned tents and provided with cable television and Internet facilities to communicate with families.

The government earlier recalled the troops from Liberia, urged an estimated 1,700 workers in the three worst-hit nations to return home and barred others from going there.

 

source: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2014/11/15/1392089/filipino-peacekeeper-has-malaria-not-ebola

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