Vietnam, Myanmar test three patients for Ebola

AFP
A worker holds a flyer on the Ebola virus at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos on August 11, 2014
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A worker holds a flyer on the Ebola virus at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos on August 11, 2014 (AFP Photo/Pius Utomi Ekpei)

Hanoi (AFP) - Vietnam and Myanmar are testing three patients for the deadly Ebola virus after they arrived in the Southeast Asian nations from Africa while suffering from fever, health officials said.

Two Nigerians were sent to Ho Chi Minh City's Tropical Diseases Hospital for isolation after they arrived in the city by plane, Vietnam's health ministry said, adding that they did not have symptoms other than fever.

Airline passengers sitting next to the pair -- who travelled to Vietnam on Monday from Nigeria via Qatar -- have been advised to monitor their own health.

In Myanmar a 22-year-old local man was taken to hospital in Yangon after arriving at the city's main airport on Tuesday, the Myanmar Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement on its official Facebook page late Tuesday.

It said he is believed to have returned from Guinea, having also travelled to Liberia, two of the countries worst hit by the Ebola outbreak.

Four people who accompanied the man to hospital were also being kept under observation, although they have not shown signs of illness.

"We have to send the samples to India for laboratory testing to see whether it is Ebola or not. The process will take three to four days," Tun Tin, deputy director of the ministry of health, told AFP.

He added that authorities were working closely with the World Health Organisation.

Myanmar, which began emerging from harsh junta rule in 2011, has one of the world's worst funded and poorly equipped healthcare systems, with many people cut off from even basic medical help.

The global death toll from Ebola stands at 1,229, with the bulk of cases in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The medical charity MSF has said the outbreak is moving faster than aid organisations can handle, while the World Health Organisation said the scale of the epidemic had been vastly underestimated.

Vietnam has introduced mandatory temperature checks at its two major international airports in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to try to prevent passengers bringing the deadly virus into the country.

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