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Canada reports possible Ebola case after traveler returns from West Africa

AFP-JIJI

A traveler returning to Canada from West Africa has been hospitalized after displaying symptoms consistent with those of the Ebola virus that has killed dozens in Guinea, a health official said Monday.

“All we know at this point is that we have a person who is critically ill who traveled from a country where these diseases occur,” Denise Werker, joint director of health in Saskatchewan province, western Canada, told reporters.

She said the person involved had been in Liberia and developed the symptoms after landing in Canada. He or she would not have been contagious when traveling and is now in isolation and while there 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 neighboring 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, will mark the first spread of the highly contagious pathogen into another country.

Werker said the risk of transmission is 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, feces or sweat, or by sexual contact and the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.