The Saudi Ministry of Health reported Saturday that tests conducted at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indicate Ebola virus was not the cause of a Saudi patient's illness and death. 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. The Ministry of Health said 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.
This was the only suspected Ebola case identified in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As a precaution, Ministry of Health continues to monitor individuals who came into contact with the patient while he was exhibiting symptoms of viral hemorrhagic fever.
Ministry of Health has advised 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.
The Ministry is taking a number of steps to ensure that highly contagious diseases are detected, diagnosed and tracked by public health professionals.