Arena virus nurse 'out of danger'

A nursing sister being treated for viral haemorrhagic fever at the Morningside Clinic has been moved from the intensive care unit, a spokesman for the hospital group said yesterday.

A nursing sister being treated for viral haemorrhagic fever at the Morningside Clinic has been moved from the intensive care unit, a spokesman for the hospital group said yesterday.

"She remains in isolation and is slowly but steadily improving," spokesman Melinda Pelser said.

"Medical experts do not consider her to be infectious any longer, but will keep her in isolation for three weeks as a precautionary measure."

The nurse, whose name has been withheld, treated one of three people who died of the virus at the hospital in the past month.

A fourth person, a cleaner at the hospital , had traces of the virus in her body when she died while also afflicted with meningitis.

The nurse's condition was confirmed by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and announced on October 12.

She is the only person still being treated for viral haemorrhagic fever at the Morningside Clinic.

"Though the hospital is still monitoring 39 people who had contact with those known to have been infected, none are showing signs of the disease," Pelser said.

Monitoring will continue for 21 days from the person's last close contact with an infected person.

Temperature monitoring is carried out at their homes or at work, and the results phoned in to Morningside Clinic. Anyone who shows a change in temperature will be taken to the hospital for increased temperature monitoring.

Temperature fluctuations do not mean the person has symptoms of the disease, only that closer monitoring is advisable, Pelser said. - Sapa

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