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Dead Saudi tests negative for Ebola



Riyadh/Lusaka: A Saudi man who died while showing symptoms similar to Ebola was not infected with the virus, according to initial test results cited by health authorities on Saturday.

The health ministry announced last Wednesday that the man had died of a heart attack.

The ministry has received a "preliminary laboratory result" from Atlanta showing that the man had tested negative for Ebola, it said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

The "same US laboratories will carry out further precise and developed tests to ensure the absence of other viruses that could cause haemorrhagic fever," the symptoms the man had upon his return from Sierra Leone, the ministry said.

It is awaiting results of testing in Germany in the same case.

Since breaking out earlier this year, the tropical virus has claimed almost 900 lives and infected more than 1,603 people across West Africa.

The Saudi case was announced last Tuesday by the health ministry, which said the patient had been quarantined in hospital in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.


Meanwhile, Zambia said it would restrict entry of travellers from countries affected by the Ebola virus and would ban Zambians from travelling to those countries, in one of the strictest moves yet by a southern African country against the deadly virus.

"All delegates from any of the countries affected by Ebola virus disease are restricted from entering Zambia until further notice," the Health Ministry said in a statement posted on its website yesterday.

The statement, which was dated August 8, also said that any Zambians arriving from those countries would be "thoroughly screened and quarantined", adding that no further travel by Zambians to such countries would be allowed.

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