Suspected Ebola victim tests negative for virus

Suspected Ebola victim tests negative for virus
West Africa has been hit this year with the worst outbreak of Ebola ever seen. File photo: Seyllou/AFP
Italy’s health minister Beatrice Lorenzin on Thursday said that a 53-year-old doctor, who is currently being treated in Rome after coming into contact with a colleague infected with Ebola in Sierra Leone in September, has tested negative for the virus.

The orthopedic surgeon, who was working with the humanitarian organization, Emergency, in the West African country, was flown to Rome for treatment after coming into contact with a colleague infected with the Ebola virus on September 16th. 

However on Thursday Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin said that the man, who will remain under observation at the Spallanzani hospital in Rome until October 16th, has tested negative for the virus, Corriere della Sera reported.

“The case of the doctor from Emergency being treated at Spallanzani is not a case [of the virus],” Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin was quoted as saying.

“He is not ill with Ebola. The tests came out negative,” she added.

Another person, a Nigerian woman who was also flown back from Africa, was also being held at the Institute with suspected Ebola. However she was found to have malaria.

According to the World Health Organization there are currently 1,800 people ill with the virus in Sierra Leone, with around 30 new cases reported each day. 

In Sierra Leone alone, over 110 health workers have contracted the virus.

Meanwhile, on Thursday a top US health official urged swift action to prevent the deadly Ebola virus from becoming the next AIDS epidemic, as the health of an infected Spanish nurse deteriorated.

The United Nations chief called for a 20-fold increase in the world's response to the spread of Ebola, which has killed nearly 3,900 people in West Africa since the beginning of the year.

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