Patient in Brampton, Ont. hospital isolation unit tests negative for Ebola virus
Sunday, August 10, 2014, 3:45 PM - A patient who was placed in the Isolation unit of a Brampton, Ont., hospital has tested negative for the often deadly Ebola virus.
Public health officials said the man was admitted to the Brampton Civic hospital Friday, where he was being kept in isolation.
Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins broke the news in a statement issued Sunday morning.
"I can now confirm a recent case that underwent testing at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg was found to test negative for Ebola virus disease,'' he said in a press release.
Brampton Civic Hospital tested the patient who recently travelled to Canada from West Africa and presented with symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pain and malaise. This was done as a precautionary measure, officials said.
Hoskins says in the release that he is glad to hear the patient is doing well, and wishes him a speedy recovery.
Initial signs and symptoms of Ebola are similar to many more common diseases, such as the flu, and health care providers have been advised to be on heightened alert for Ebola cases.
The infection has killed nearly 1,000 people in West Africa so far and the World Health Organization has declared the Ebola epidemic to be a global health emergency.
IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: Why is Ebola so deadly? Expert explains.
CAN EBOLA BE STOPPED?
Health officials are confident they can put an end to the outbreak.
"This is not a mysterious disease. This is an infectious disease that can be contained," Keiji Fukuda, WHO's head of health security, told reporters according to Reuters.
"It is not a virus that is spread through the air."
The health agency is advising governments take greater precautions to stop the spread of the disease, arguing that the best known tactics to control Ebola outbreaks -- i.e., hospital infection control, public awareness and tracking infected patients -- does not appear to be strictly enforced in some areas.
WHAT IS EBOLA?
The Ebola virus is a "severe, often fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90 [percent]," WHO says on its website.
"It is one of the world’s most virulent diseases. The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people. Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care."
Health workers, family members of infected patients and people in close contact with sick or deceased patients are at the greatest risk of becoming infected.
With files from The Canadian Press