Saudi man being tested for Ebola virus dies
Riyadh, August 6, 2014
A Saudi Arabian man suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus during a recent business trip to Sierra Leone died early on Wednesday in Jeddah, the Health Ministry said.
Saudi authorities and international laboratories certified by the World Health Organisation are testing samples from the man for Ebola and other diseases after he showed symptoms of viral haemorrhagic fever, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said it was working to trace the man's route of travel and identify people he was in contact with.
Meanwhile, the death toll from the world's worst Ebola outbreak has risen to 932 after 45 patients died between August 2 and 4, the World Health Organization said in a statement. The number of suspected, probable or confirmed cases rose by 108 over the same period to 1,711.
Ebola is one of the deadliest diseases known in humans with a fatality rate of up to 90 percent. The death rate in the current outbreak in West Africa, which has killed close to 900, is around 60 percent.
The kingdom has suspended pilgrimage visas from West African countries to counter the further possible spread of the disease.
The WHO statement said of the newly reported deaths , 27 were in Liberia, which has had 516 cases and 282 deaths from the disease since the outbreak began in February.
Guinea, where the outbreak was first reported, had 10 new cases and 5 deaths, while the number of cases in Sierra Leone rose by 45 to 691, with 13 newly reported deaths, bringing its death toll to 286.
In Nigeria, the fourth country to be affected, the number of suspected cases climbed from 4 to 9. The WHO data included one death in Nigeria, of a man who collapsed shortly after he arrived by plane from Liberia, via Ghana and Togo.
But a nurse who treated him also died, Nigeria's health minister said on Wednesday.
The WHO figures also did not contain any mention of Saudi Arabia.
The WHO is holding an Emergency Committee meeting on Wednesday and Thursday to decide if the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern and, if so, what to do about it.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan briefed national representatives on Tuesday, the WHO statement said, and outlined a threefold response: intensifying measures in the four affected countries, steps to reduce the international spread, and treatment of one area of West Africa as a "unified sector".
That area - on the borders of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia - would be subject to "public health measures meant to reduce movement in and out of the area", the statement said. - Reuters