The deadly Ebola epidemic continued to raise concerns across the world yesterday, as fear gripped the residents of a Hong Kong neighbourhood when they heard that a Nigerian who had just returned from one of the Ebola-stricken West African countries had diarrhoea and was vomiting.
The Nigerian man, who had arrived in the city on Thursday, was rushed to the hospital Saturday morning with vomiting and diarrhoea, which are the early symptoms of the virus. However, some relief came the way of the people of Hong Kong when the laboratory tests came back negative for Ebola yesterday.
Health experts such as University of Hong Kong microbiologist, Yuen Kwok-yung, said Hong Kong was unlikely to see an Ebola outbreak, even as he stressed the need for vigilance, given the city’s role as a transport hub and its proximity to Guangzhou, home to Asia’s biggest African community.
According to the South China Morning Post, the Nigerian man at the centre of Saturday’s scare was understood to have been staying at a guest house in Chungking Mansions, the complex of cheap restaurants, shops and hostels in Tsim Sha Tsui popular with African and South Asian visitors.
Hospital sources said the man was first taken by ambulance to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei, before being put into isolation at the Infectious Disease Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung for tests. He was the second person to test negative for the virus in the city after a local woman who fell ill on her return from Kenya last week.