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The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) is now probing the death of a British tourist in Phuket for any indication of the Ebola virus. It is believed that the tourist had traveled from West Africa.
MOPH’s Permanent Secretary Dr. Narong Sahamethapat, today spoke about the death of the foreigner on 23rd October 2014, saying that the Ministry is now investigating the cause of death as the person had traveled from Lagos, Nigeria.
The Ministry has looked into the travel records of this person and has found that he arrived at the Phuket international airport on 7th October 2014. On 15th October, he had fainted and been sent to a local hospital. The doctor found that he had a record of heart disease, and found that the patient’s symptoms were not related to Ebola. The medical team had treated him accordingly and then allowed him to go home.
However, he was found dead in his room by police on 23rd October 2014. The Ministry has been asked to investigate the cause of death.
The MOPH is now working with the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office to ascertain the cause of death . Furthermore it has cleaned up the location, and collected a blood sample to be checked for the Ebola virus at the Department of Medical Science and the Chulalongkorn Hospital. The result is expected to be available on Sunday.
Meanwhile, The Department of Disease Control (DDC) Director-General Dr. Sophon Mekthon said that the body is being kept at a hospital affiliated with the MOPH and is being looked after in a manner that complies with required international standards.
The department is now monitoring about 25 people who had been in contact with the man. The department will look for any symptoms over the next 21 days. The room where the deceased used to live is now closed.
The body will be sent for an autopsy only if the test for Ebola returns negative. The MOPH will inform the public when there is more information.
The MOPH is now strictly screening visitors from countries with the Ebola outbreak, at International Disease Control Stations covering every mode of transportation. So far, the Ministry has screened 2,415 persons, amongst whom no Ebola symptom has been found.