A man in the Swedish capital city of Stockholm has been hospitalized and is suspected to be suffering from Ebola.
Outbreaks are usually reported in Western and Central African countries. The latest outbreak started in March this year and has already affected over 3,000 people and caused the death of more than 1,500 people in several African countries.
However, cases of EVD have also been confirmed in the U.S. and now health officials in Sweden have stated that a patient has been hospitalized and suspected for Ebola, but the disease has not yet been confirmed.
Scientists reveal that EVD is not airborne and is usually spread through indirect or direct contact via blood and other fluids in humans.
The suspected EVD patient confirmed that he recently traveled to one of the Ebola-affected African countries. The man, who has not been identified by Swedish authorities, is said to have developed stomach pains and high fever and required medical attention. The man was initially admitted to a local health clinic and then shifted to an isolation unit at the Karolinska University Hospital.
Dr. Ake Ortqvist, a communicable disease specialist, revealed that the likeliness of an Ebola outbreak in Sweden is extremely low and chances of the man having EVD is also very minimal. However, they are not leaving any stones unturned to confirm that the man does not have EVD.
This is the first suspected Ebola case in Sweden but not the first in Europe. Recently, a woman in Berlin was suspected to have EVD. Similarly, health officials in Frankfurt and Hamburg also reported suspect Ebola cases but none of the patients were tested positive for the deadly disease.
A Spanish priest died of EVD in a Madrid hospital just a few days after he was airlifted from Liberia.
Currently, there are no medicines to treat Ebola but healthcare specialists suggest that there are better chances of recovering from the disease if spotted in the early stages. The World Health Organization (WHO) is working hard with pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to research on a medicine for Ebola. Clinical trials are already underway and experimental medicines like ZMapp are already being used to fight the disease.
However, a previous report suggests we may have to wait until 2015 before the medicines are made commercially available.
Swedish health officials have already taken blood samples of the suspected Ebola case and will confirm the results soon.