World Health Organization Rules Out ‘Ebola-like Symptoms’ in Canada, Disease a Threat to National Security

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | March 26, 2014 2:01 PM EST

The World Health Organization has ruled out that the Ebola-like symptoms of a Canadian traveler who recently went to Liberia in West Africa.

WHO officials during a news conference in Geneva said preliminary tests on the Canadian patient had been negative for Ebola.

REUTERS/Saliou Samb
Workers from Doctors Without Borders unload emergency medical supplies to deal with an Ebola outbreak in Conakry, Guinea, March 23, 2014. Health officials fighting an outbreak of Ebola in Guinea on Sunday dispatched specialised medical equipment, imposed restrictions on funerals and sought to contain panic to prevent the fever from spreading. There have been 29 confirmed deaths from the haemorrhagic fever among 59 people killed by a mysterious illness in southeastern Guinea since early February, international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said. Picture taken March 23, 2014. REUTERS/Saliou Samb

The man, admitted in a hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, likewise had tested negative for the Marburg virus, Lassa fever, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever and Rift Valley fever.

"I can confirm to you that the test was negative," Michael Bolkenius, spokesman for Canadian Health Minister Rona Ambrose, told AFP.

Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for the World Health Organization, said what the man might have could be severe malaria.

Provincial health officials have disclosed the man's family have also been placed in quarantine in Saskatchewan province.

Nursing staff have also been strictly advised to use gloves, masks and other protections to avoid infection through contact with bodily fluids.

Meantime at least 59 of the 86 infected people in Guinea have died due to the dreaded virus.

Reports have flaunted that there are already small numbers of patients with similar symptoms in Liberia and Sierra Leone, which would mean the first spread between the countries of the highly contagious pathogen.

Walter Gwenigale, Liberian Health Minister, said in a statement that six cases have been reported of which five have already died, including a child.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has described ebola as one of diseases so deadly and easy to spread that they pose a risk to national security.

The virus is listed as a Category A bioterrorism agent, alongside anthrax and smallpox.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Saliou Samb / )
Workers from Doctors Without Borders unload emergency medical supplies to deal with an Ebola outbreak in Conakry, Guinea, March 23, 2014. Health officials fighting an outbreak of Ebola in Guinea on Sunday dispatched specialised medical equipment, imposed restrictions on funerals and sought to contain panic to prevent the fever from spreading. There have been 29 confirmed deaths from the haemorrhagic fever among 59 people killed by a mysterious illness in southeastern Guinea since early February, international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said. Picture taken March 23, 2014. REUTERS/Saliou Samb
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