Saudi man being tested for Ebola dies in hospital after trip to Sierra Leone

Global Ebola death toll jumps to 932, World Health Organisation says

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 August, 2014, 8:37pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 August, 2014, 9:23pm

A Saudi national, who fell ill after returning from Sierra Leone, died early on Wednesday in his hospital isolation ward where he was being tested for the Ebola virus, said the Saudi Health Ministry.

The 40-year-old returned on Sunday from Sierra Leone, where there has been an Ebola outbreak, and was then hospitalised in Jeddah after showing symptoms of the viral haemorrhagic fever.

The patient’s samples are being tested in an international reference lab on the advice of the World Health Organisation. He had already tested negative for dengue fever.

Different types of viral haemorrhagic fevers have been found in the kingdom, but the ministry statement said no case of Ebola has ever been detected there.

Ebola, which has no proven vaccine or treatment, has killed nearly 900 people this year in four countries in West Africa.

Saudi Arabia announced in April that it was not issuing visas this year to Muslim pilgrims from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea as a precaution to avoid the spread during the hajj pilgrimage, which sees massive crowds of people from around the world gather in Mecca.

Saudi Ambassador in Guinea Amjad Bedaiwi was quoted in the Saudi Arab News on Wednesday saying the decision affects a total of 7,400 pilgrims from those three countries.

The death toll from West Africa’s Ebola outbreak has risen to 932 after 45 patients died from August 2 to August 4, the World Health Organisation said in a statement.

The number of suspected, probable or confirmed cases rose by 108 over the same period to a total of 1,711. Most of the new cases were in Liberia while the number of cases in Nigeria climbed from 4 to 9, including one previous death.