A traveller returning to Canada from west Africa has been hospitalised after displaying symptoms consistent with those of the Ebola virus that has killed dozens in Guinea, a health official says.
“All we know at this point is that we have a person who is critically ill who travelled from a country where these diseases occur,” Denise Werker, joint director of health in Saskatchewan province in western Canada, told reporters on Monday.
She said the casualty had been in Liberia and had developed the symptoms after landing in Canada. He or she would not have been contagious when travelling and was now in isolation and while the has been placed in quarantine, pending test results.
Aid workers and health officials in Guinea are battling to contain west Africa’s first outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus as neighbouring Liberia reported its first suspected victims.
At least 59 people are known to have died in Guinea’s southern forests but the Liberian cases, if confirmed, would mark the first spread of the highly contagious pathogen into another country. Worker said the risk of transmission was low as the disease, one of the world’s most virulent, is transmitted to humans from wild animals and between humans by direct contact with blood, faeces or sweat, or by sexual contact and the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.