Man steals Ebola patient’s phone, gets infected

On August 30, 2012, in Theft, by djeyli

The world’s unluckiest thief got a potential death sentence after stealing a phone. The man caught the deadly Ebola virus after stealing a mobile phone from a patient with the disease.

The 40 year-old crook travelled 3km from his home town to the Kagadi Hospital in the Kibaale district, and crept into the isolation ward in the dead of night.

He then made off with a patient’s phone worth 60,000 Ugandan Shillings ($23).

The patient had the deadly Ebola fever, but before he died he managed to tell police of the theft.

Officers tracked down a man who had started using the phone, who then confessed to the crime.

The man claimed he had visited the ward to “comfort” patients, though he didn’t know any of them in person, district police commander John Ojokuna Elatu told Uganda’s Sunday Monitor.

Soon afterwards he started showing signs of the disease.

Kibaale District Health Officer, Dr Dan Kyamanywa, said: “The suspect is admitted at Kagadi Hospital with clinical signs of Ebola. He is receiving medication.”

Ebola spreads through a highly contagious virus and is feared for its fast onset of haemorrhagic symptoms. More than half those who catch the disease die from it, and there is no known cure.

Western Uganda has been the centre of an Ebola outbreak in recent months, which killed a 3-month-old child and infected another 15 who attended his funeral.

Ugandan president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has warned Ugandans to avoid physical contact, including kisses and handshakes.

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