Man in Saudi Arabia Tested for Ebola

Health officials in Saudi Arabia have said they are testing a man who is suspected of having the Ebola virus after he recently returned from Sierra Leone on a business trip.

The Health Ministry on Tuesday said the man, who is a Saudi, was in Jeddah at a hospital after he showed symptoms of a hemorrhagic fever, which resembled the symptoms for Ebola.

Health officials said precautionary measures had been taken including the isolation of the patient at the hospital. Blood samples have been sent to a laboratory through the World Health Organization to be studied.

The current death rate for the most recent outbreak in West Africa is close to 60%.

Saudi Arabia was alerted against the spread of Ebola from West Africa. In that region of Africa, over 800 people have been killed by the virus. Saudi Arabia has stopped issuing visas from certain countries for the kingdom’s annual haj pilgrimage or for visits to other holy places for Muslims.

Margaret Chan the head of WHO said in an interview last week that the Ebola virus outbreak across West Africa was now out of control. However, Chan said it would be halted with additional resources and measures that were tougher.

This recent outbreak is worse than any other since the mid-1970s when the disease was first discovered.

No effective treatments exist and there is no vaccine that can be taken to protect against the infection of Ebola.

The transmission of the disease is through direct contact with fluids or blood of a person who is infected, including through people who have already died.

The annual haj pilgrimage draws hundreds of thousands of Muslims to Saudi Arabia, but this year could be much smaller due to travel restrictions and the fear of Ebola in the region.

Two American doctors working in West Africa took ill with the virus. One was flow to hospital in the U.S., while the other is scheduled to be flown out on Tuesday.

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