Man infected after stealing phone from Ebola patient?

A report from Uganda says that a phone thief allegedly went into a hospital to steal a phone from a patient. The patient had the Ebola virus. Now, so may the confessed thief.

The hospital where the alleged theft took place. Associated Press/YouTube Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Some stories defy your emotions, making it hard to decide which part is paramount.

In this one, for example, how does one react to a gruesome version of paying it forward?

A man in Kyakabugahya LCI in Kagadi Town, Uganda, allegedly needed to steal a cell phone so badly that he went into a hospital -- where, perhaps, the marks are easy.

Gawker directed me to Uganda's Daily Monitor, which describes an unparalleled twist.

The alleged thief, aged 40, reportedly got past security at the Kagadi Hospital in the middle of the night and stole the phone from a patient who was fighting the Ebola virus. Yes, this was the isolation ward.

The patient (who has since reportedly died) informed the police and the phone was tracked.

Here's the twist. The thief allegedly began to experience Ebola symptoms and went back to the hospital. This time, he didn't need a phone, he needed treatment.

Perhaps overcome by his condition, he reportedly confessed to stealing the phone, which was worth around $24.

The hospital told the Daily Monitor that it is waiting for test results to confirm that he has, indeed, been infected.

The virus -- whose symptoms may include hemorrhaging, rashes, and a deterioration of the central nervous system -- has already killed 16 people in the area. (I have embedded a news report of the outbreak.)

Please choose your own moral for this story.

 

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