Ebola Phone Theft: Man Steals From Quarantined Uganda Hospital Patient, Contracts Virus

Don’t do the crime if you can’t contract the virus.

A man stole a cell phone from an isolation ward in Uganda two weeks ago, but realized he had more than the police to worry about when he began showing symptoms of Ebola, the Daily Monitorreports.

The unidentified, 40-year-old thief took a $23 phone from a patient at Kagadi Hospital, where several people were quarantined during a recent Ebola outbreak in the area. The patient has since succumbed to a deadly hemorrhagic fever stemming from the virus, but reported the phone missing shortly before he died, the Global Post reports.

Investigators tracked the swindler after he started making phone calls to friends and it wasn’t long before the thief began showing symptoms. He checked himself into the same hospital he’d stolen the phone from and confessed his crime to police. Doctors said he is currently being treated.

The Ebola virus, which can cause Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a contagious sickness that includes painful symptoms such as rash, diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding from every orifice, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

After the outbreak, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni warned citizens to refrain from physical contact, including shaking hands and casual sex.