Sick Angolan Traveler Tested for Marburg in South Africa

This is the scenario we anticipated:

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa tested a sick air passenger’s blood for Marburg on Wednesday after the man arrived on a plane from Angola, which is battling the worst ever outbreak of the lethal virus, officials said.

If confirmed, the case would be the first outside Angola since the outbreak began several weeks ago, and could pose problems for South Africa’s booming tourist sector, the country’s biggest foreign exchange earner.

The sick passenger was taken to the Johannesburg Hospital for tests after arriving late on Tuesday from Angola’s capital Luanda, officials said.

“At the moment we can not rule out Marburg … The blood has been taken and we are waiting for the test results,” said Popo Maja, spokesman for the Gauteng Province health department. “The patient is stable and in an isolation ward,” he said.

The presence of Marburg in Luanda, the Angolan capital, puts it within striking distance of an international airport. The case in South Africa, if he tests positive, may not be the last one we hear about.

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