A CHINESE man with symptoms similar to those of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has been quarantined shortly after he flew into Uganda.
The man, who originated from Chinaâ€™s Shanghai province, had a dry cough and a running nose when he landed at Entebbe International Airport, the Ministry of Health said yesterday. He, however, did not have a high temperature.
â€œIn view of the fact that he is coming from a SARS high risk country, the Ministry of Health has decided to isolate him and treat him as a suspect,â€ a health ministry statement said.
The statement added that the public should remain calm since this was not a confirmed
SARS case. The ministry promised â€œa thorough medical examination.â€
The man, who made his flight connection through Dar-es-Salaam, arrived at Entebbe aboard Air Tanzania flight number 7094 yesterday morning.
A health ministry statement signed by a director of health services, Dr. Herman Kyabaggu, said the man was being given the necessary medical attention and welfare.
â€œWe are not sure, but we didnâ€™t want to take chances. We are going to investigate,â€ a member of the national SARS task force said.
The Ministry of Health was due to notify the Chinese Embassy, and Air Tanzania had been alerted to monitor the crew members.
Meanwhile, the ministry has taken the contacts of the seven passengers who arrived on the same flight. They will be monitored for 10 days.
By press time health, officials had transferred the man from the airport to a temporary accommodation in Entebbe town, where he would remain isolated overnight.
The man left China on May 1. Since the incubation period is 10 days, the officials said if he does not develop the full SARS symptoms by today (Tuesday), he may not have the disease.
Health officials found a Chinese translator who helped them in getting the manâ€™s history.
The SARS epidemic has now claimed 526 lives and infected 7,296 people, more than 4,880 of them in China alone.
Main symptoms include fever, difficult breathing, dry cough and soar throat. Others are headaches, stiffness, mental confusion and skin rashes.
Uganda Holds SARS Suspect