Ugandan Man Steals Phone From Ebola Patient, Contracts Ebola

A Ugandan thief got more than he bargained for when he stole a cell phone that belonged to an Ebola patient, causing him to contract the disease as well.

The thief stole the cell phone, worth $23 USD, from an isolation ward in Uganda two weeks ago, but soon realized that the police were the least of his worries when he began to show symptoms of the deadly disease, reports The Huffington Post.

The theft occurred at Kagadi Hospital, where many people have been quarantined following an Ebola outbreak in the country. The victim has since succumbed to a deadly hemorrhagic fever that is a symptom of the disease, but he reported the theft of his phone shortly before his death.

Investigators tracked the Ebola cell phone thief down after he began making calls to friends using the stolen phone. He eventually checked himself into the same hospital he stole the phone from after showing symptoms of Ebola. He confessed his crime to police, and doctors say that he is currently being treated.

Mr John Ojokuna Elatu, the district police commander confirmed on Sunday to The Daily Monitor that, “Kagadi Police Station received that complaint and investigations are underway.” Dr Dan Kyamanywa, the Kibaale District Health Officer, added that:

“The suspect is admitted at Kagadi Hospital with clinical signs of Ebola. He is receiving medication. We have obtained samples from him.”

Since the Ebola outbreak, Uganda’s Presiden Yoweri Museveni warned citizens to abstain from physical contact, including shaking hands and casual sex. Apparently he should have warned against stealing cell phones from the Ebola isolation ward as well.