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Lebanon Ebola Scare: After Panic, Man Tests Negative

21st Century Wire says…

This week’s latest Ebola scare hits the Middle East…

Man suspected with carrying Ebola back to Beirut from the Lebanese diaspora in West Africa has finally been given the OK, but the scare has pushed Lebanese hospital workers and healthcare officials to implement new emergency protocols.

ABC News

AP/BEIRUT – A Lebanese man who arrived in Beirut from West Africa believing he may have Ebola was reassured by doctors that he is disease free but was still taken into a hospital quarantine on Thursday as a practice run to check the country’s preparedness, a health official said.

The case initially raised concerns because it was announced by the health minister, Wael Abu Faour, who said earlier in the day that Lebanon had quarantined a man suspected of having Ebola. The announcement came after days of warnings by the government that the country was at a high risk of exposure to the disease.

It had also raised concerns because the man arrived from an unspecified West African country three days ago, and reported himself to hospital with what he thought were symptoms of Ebola.

PATIENT ZERO? Suspected Ebola case rushed to Rafik Hariri Hospital in Beirut (Image Source: The Daily Star)

But an initial interview with the man showed that he was unlikely to have contracted Ebola, said physician Pierre Abi Hanna, specialist in infectious diseases at the Rafik Hariri Hospital.

Still, he was placed under quarantine and tested, as a practice run.

“He is not a risk,” said Abi Hanna. “We took it as it as a suspected case for exercise … This is a very serious issue, so it served to test our preparedness.”

The hospital has set up a four-bed isolated unit to deal with contagious diseases such as Ebola.

ENTRY POINT: Beirut International Airport.

(…) The Lebanese government warned earlier this week that the country is at a high risk of exposure to the disease because of its large diaspora in West Africa.

Thousands of Lebanese live in West African nations, including Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — countries where Ebola has killed more than 4,500 people so far.

(…) All planes arriving from West African countries are being diverted to the same runway, where health officials are checking arriving passengers for symptoms of the disease…

Continue this story at ABC News

READ MORE EBOLA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Ebola Files



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