Ebola outbreak: Fear strikes Canadian hospital as patient isolated following 'flu-like symptoms'

The patient, who had recently been to Nigeria, has been isolated as a precaution while tests get underway

A hospital in Ontario, Canada, has isolated a patient with flu-like symptoms after the person was revealed to have recently travelled from Nigeria – one of the Ebola-hit areas.

The measure is just a precautionary one and the patient has not yet been diagnosed with the deadly disease – a virus with a mortality rate as high as 90 per cent and which has swept through west Africa killing 961.

The unnamed patient has been admitted to Brampton Civic Hospital, with a diagnosis yet to come.

Dr Eileen de Villa from, Associated Medical Officer at Peel Public Health said: “Measures that are being taken are indeed precautionary. I mean, there are health concerns ongoing in West Africa at this stage of the game,” reports the Toronto Star.

 

“I’m quite confident that the hospital has put the necessary infection control measures in place, again as a precautionary measure,” she added.

A government public health official said that the chances of the person contracting Ebola without having come into contact with somebody already with it is “very, very remote.”

Dr Brian Schwartz, Chief of Emergency Preparedness at Public Health Ontario said: “We’re going to see people who are sick and we’re going to see some people who have a travel history and we’re going to see some who have both.”

There are no confirmed cases of Ebola having been contracted outside of Africa.

The latest precautions come as two US aid workers infected with the disease are said to be “improving” following specialist treatment at a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Dr Kent Brantly said he is “growing stronger every day” and that he thanks “God for His mercy as I have wrestled with this terrible disease”.

Writing from his isolation unit in hospital, Dr Brantly said that he “did not move to Liberia for the specific purpose of fighting Ebola. We went to Liberia because we believe God called us to service Him at ELWA Hospital [in the city of Monrovia].

“When Ebola spread into Liberia, my usual hospital work turned more and more toward treating the increasing number of Ebola patients.

“I held the hands of countless individuals as this terrible disease took their lives away from them. I witnessed the horror first-hand, and I can still remember every face and name,” he added in the statement.

Fellow missionary Nancy Writebol is also showing signs of improvement, her husband told reporters yesterday.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday declared the outbreak of Ebola an international a public health emergency after it killed hundreds in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

One person died in Nigeria after boarding an international flight to Lagos from Liberia.

A Spanish priest became the first Ebola-infected person to be treated in Europe, after he was flown home on Thursday.

Earlier this week, US political commentator Ann Coulter denounced the efforts by an American aid worker to treat critically ill people in the Ebola-ravaged nation of Liberia as “idiotic and narcissistic”.

Additional reporting by agencies

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