Samples submitted to an international reference laboratory were negative for Ebola virus, the Ministry of Health announced Saturday August 9th,2014 in Jeddah. Tests conducted at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has a special laboratory for testing the most dangerous microbes, indicate Ebola virus was not the cause of this patient’s illness.
CDC is conducting additional tests to confirm the negative Ebola finding and to determine if the patient was infected with another virus causing hemorrhagic fevers found in Sierra Leone
Additional Ebola tests will be conducted on samples that have been sent to another international reference laboratory in Hamburg, Germany.
The results of these tests will be released to the public once they are complete.
The man became symptomatic after traveling to one of the countries that has been hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Because of his symptoms and travel history, the man was identified as a suspected Ebola case, transferred to a specialized hospital in Jeddah, and the World Health Organization and general public were notified. He passed away last Wednesday while being treated in isolation.
As a precaution, MOH continues to monitor individuals who came into contact with the patient while he was exhibiting symptoms of viral hemorrhagic fever.
This was the only suspected Ebola case identified in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
As previously announced, MOH is advising Saudi citizens and residents to avoid all travel to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia until further notice. People from those three countries have been prohibited from participating in this year’s umrah and hajj pilgrimages due to the outbreak in West Africa.
MOH is taking a number of steps to ensure that highly contagious diseases are detected, diagnosed and tracked by public health professionals.