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Is there Ebola in Zimbabwe?

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Ebola False Alarm

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Ebola scare letter Parirenyatwa The threat of Ebola is real, something that explains the panic that grips anyone who thinks its in their backyard.

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Luckily the virus hasn’t made its way into Zimbabwe, but some people had taken to social media to say otherwise. There was a WhatsApp message that was circulating yesterday that was warning people in Harare that a case of the Ebola virus had been identified at Parirenyatwa Hospital.

It turned out to be a mix of panic, misdiagnosis and (dare i say) social media virality. Parirenyatwa Hospital officials took to electronic and print media today assuring people that there’s no Ebola in Zimbabwe.

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Ebola in Zimbabwe?

A suspected Ebola case that was safely ruled out as some other condition was probably picked up by someone in the vicinity, sent to a couple of WhatsApp groups which took it as info from a credible source at the scene, and 10 hours later people weren’t shaking hands anymore.

Ebola False AlarmThere have been other false scares before. There was one in Bulawayo early this month, plus a falsely edited newspaper article. Outside Zimbabwe false alarms have been raised in India and Namibia where the tourism has been affected by the false alarms.

There’s a positive side to all of this though. The power of the internet to spread false information can also be used to set the record straight. Parirenyatwa Hospital’s official statement has been shared via WhatsApp enough times today.

This just goes to show that a dedicated website with information on this would have been helpful as a precaution. Or perhaps a medical alert app?


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15 thoughts on “Is there Ebola in Zimbabwe?

  1. then again, its not like they will take to the (social) media and scream, “Eh, yo zimbos, we got one here!” never. after all, should the case be genuine, it is their job to dispel those rumours as simple hoaxes just so that they don’t shine any light on their alarmingly high state of unpreparedness!

  2. Ebola is scary but why do these rumors circulate? Because there is no information about it. People become suspicious and form their own information networks. Nothing official at all. Am surprised companies like Econet with a access to people cannot even come up with an “innovation” to inform people. Maybe it is not their business to do so but if people are informed early before something disastrous occurs, they will know what to do. Crash courses never work as seen in Liberia and Senegal.

  3. Fun!! We had one here in Oz a couple of days ago. A bloke who’d just arrived from the Congo was arrested for trespassing, and, while residing in the watchhouse, mentioned that he had a fever. He was promptly dumped in an isolation ward. Maybe he thought the beds in hospital’d be better than those in the watchhouse?

  4. One could reasonably expect the Zim official position on the existance of Ebola in the country, to be consistant with the genuiness of Zims last (2013) national election results.

  5. Its really sad how people are dying everyday all i can say is lets pray because our only ticket out of this is GOD’s intervention

  6. zimbabwe is prepared to fight the ebola virus. chances are very slim for the virus to cross our borders

    1. no ebola at all gud pple so stop the fuss hey …..it has been proved through investigations by our loving doctor ‘PARIRENYATWA’…..by edith

      1. our loving God has promised us dat he will never leave nor forsake us so if u trust in ur living GOD i am sure dat u wont let the fear of threat prey u becoz ur Lord is ur light and salvation so have no fear at all hey…..stay healthy and safe and know dat God is in control………..#gugula#

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