Ebola Test Gives False Negatives | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Ebola Test Gives False Negatives

On July 15, Omeonga’s boss walked into his office at St. Joseph Catholic Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia full of worry. The hospital director told Omeonga he had shaken hands with a man who was later diagnosed with Ebola, and now he was feeling ill—the director had been vomiting, had a headache, and was running a high fever. But two days later, when the diagnostic test came back negative, that worry was banished, and Omeonga and his colleagues began caring for the director as they would a typhoid or malaria patient. “We wore gloves, but we were not very strict at all.”

A week later, the director’s symptoms got worse, and he was tested again. This time, it came back positive for Ebola—the first test was a false negative [i.e. the test erroneously showed that the person did not have Ebola, when he did]. Suddenly, everyone who had cared for him was a possible Ebola case. The hospital became a quarantine zone. The director died on August 2, the same day Omeonga began to feel sick. Of the 20 health workers who had been in contact with him during that week, 15 came down with Ebola a short while later, including Omeonga. Nine of Omeonga’s colleagues died. He and five others survived.

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