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Ebola virus tests come back negative for Montreal hospital patient

MONTREAL – Tests have come back negative for a Montreal hospital patient suspected of having the often deadly Ebola virus.

The man had recently returned from Guinea, one of the West African countries hit by an Ebola outbreak.

Dr. Karl Weiss, the director of infectious diseases at Montreal’s Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, says the man was suffering from symptoms consistent with the virus when he was admitted on Friday.

Blood samples were sent to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg and it was determined he did not to have the virus.

More than 1,400 people have died so far in the largest Ebola outbreak on record.

A spokesman for Health Canada says there has never been a case in Canada and “the risk to Canadians remains very low.”

Earlier this month a patient at a hospital in Brampton, Ont., was also placed in isolation over fear the person had contracted the virus, but ended up testing negative.

That patient had recently returned from Nigeria.

Weiss says he’s satisfied with the way the Montreal hospital handled the situation.

“The patient came to the hospital complaining of fever and other symptoms, and because of that we had no choice but to start putting our protocol in place and start implementing all the measures,” he said Saturday.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has advised against all non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

It also warned of a small number of confirmed and suspected cases reported in Lagos, Nigeria.

Transmission of Ebola from person to person is through direct contact with blood and body fluids.