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Brampton Civic Hospital treating patient from Africa with flu-like symptoms

A Brampton hospital is taking precautionary measures after a patient who recently travelled to Canada from Nigeria came down with a fever and other flu-like symptoms.

The patient arrived at the emergency department at William Osler Health System’s Brampton Civic Hospital on Friday.

“Osler sees and treats several patients a week with similar symptoms because of its proximity to the airport and over the last week, has put in heightened infection control protocols as a precautionary measure due to the emerging situation in West Africa,” the spokesperson said.

West Africa is currently dealing with an Ebola outbreak.

“Osler medical experts are working closely with Peel Public Health to confirm a diagnosis,” the hospital said.

On Saturday afternoon, the Ontario Ministry of Health said results of the testing were expected within 24 hours from samples sent to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

Allison McGeer, Infectious Disease Consultant with Mount Sinai Hospital, told 680News that the likelihood that the person has Ebola is “very small,” but says hospitals must take necessary precautions and follow protocol when dealing with anyone who has a fever and has travelled to a high-risk area.

Dr. Eric Hoskins Minister of Health and Long-Term Care released the following statement on Friday night:

The health and safety of all Ontarians is my top priority. I have been closely monitoring the situation in West Africa since this outbreak began and I know that health professionals in Ontario have been alert to possible cases of Ebola in patients who have been traveling in affected regions.

I am aware that we are currently testing a patient who recently travelled from West Africa. Initial signs and symptoms of Ebola are similar to many more common diseases. One such disease relevant to African travel is malaria. There are currently no confirmed cases of Ebola in Ontario.

I am in close contact with our Chief Medical Officer of Health, and we are working with our health system partners to monitor and manage the situation. From the beginning of the outbreak in West Africa we have taken steps to ensure our health system is prepared should a returning traveler be suspected of having the disease. With the experience and lessons learned from the SARS epidemic, our hospitals have sophisticated infection control systems and procedures to protect health providers, patients, and all Ontarians, and are fully equipped to deal with any potential cases of Ebola.

As Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, and as a public health doctor with many years’ experience working with infectious diseases in Africa, I am confident that Ontario is prepared and ready to contain and treat any potential case of Ebola in our province.

I will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide regular updates.