Doctor tested for Ebola, discharged from hospital

A QUEENSLAND doctor tested for ebola after returning from aid work in West Africa has been discharged from hospital but faces a 21-day monitoring period. Dr John Parker, from Golden Beach on the Sunshine Coast, was taken to Sydney’s Westmead Hospital after developing flu-like symptoms following his return from Sierra Leone. Ebola has an incubation period from two to 21 days, most commonly eight to 10 days. Dr Parker had been working in an Australian-run Ebola treatment clinic with Aspen Medical since last November.

NSW Health said Westmead’s Emerging Infections and Biohazard Response Unit laboratory had run tests and returned a negative result for Ebola virus disease. A spokeswoman said Dr Parker had been discharged today after 24 hours in hospital. His employer, Aspen Medical, said the GP would enter a 21-day self-monitoring period. This is part of health protocol and includes twice-daily taking of temperature to check for fever. It also advises against mixing with others, going to public places or travelling. A spokesman for Aspen Medical said once the monitoring period was over, Dr Parker would be free to return to his normal job.

Dr Parker has more than 20 years’ experience as a GP and his many humanitarian missions with Red Cross and Doctors without Borders have taken him to Rwanda, Iraq, Afghanistan, Uganda and Nigeria. He is the first person this year to be tested for Ebola in New South Wales. As of March 29, 25,213 cases and 10,460 Ebola deaths had been reported worldwide, the vast majority in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.


Note: When we heard about the sorrowful plight of Dr. Parker, especially when we watched him at ABC channel 24, when he was admitted at Westmead Hospital, we decided to visit him before he was discharged to thank him as a community for the great sacrifice he did at the expense of his own life and family in our country. But we were unable to see him in the hospital to sympathize with him as a sign of appreciation for his humanitarian gesture in saving the lives of our poor Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) affected brothers and sisters in Sierra Leone. However, Dr John Parker, we still like to say a big thank you and your family for been on our side during the difficult trying time of our people in the country and also to all those who went to rescue the lives of our poor and helpless Sierra Leone during their difficult period of their lives. However, we still need your generous  support to rebuild the lives of our people, especially now that the Ebola Virus Disease crisis is gradually becoming a thing of the past in the country. But its bad aftermath effect problems, including orphans, school dropout children, young people and widows are our current challenges in the country.

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