A Saudi man whose travel history includes a recent business trip to Sierra Leone presented with symptoms of viral hemorrhagic fever last night at a hospital in Jeddah.
The source of his infection could be one of several viruses, including Ebola virus because of his recent travel to a country in which there is an active outbreak of the disease.
The patient, 40, is in critical condition. He has been moved to a tertiary care center with advanced isolation and infection-control capabilities.
Preliminary testing at a specialized laboratory in Saudi Arabia was negative for Dengue virus.
Additional tests are underway to determine if the source of the infection is yellow fever, Alkhumra or another virus. MOH is also submitting samples for Ebola virus testing at an international reference lab at the recommendation of the World Health Organization.
Some viral hemorrhagic fevers are found in Saudi Arabia, however there has never been a case of Ebola virus in the Kingdom.
This case was detected by the Ministry’s surveillance system, which was established within the Command & Control Center and includes real-time monitoring and self-reporting by medical facilities across the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia announced in April that it is not issuing visas for the 2014 Hajj and Umrah to pilgrims from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea due to these countries suffering from an Ebola outbreak.
Medical workers are monitoring travelers at airports and seaports across the Kingdom.
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