Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s Health Ministry announced on Monday that the two tests performed on Souleymane Bah, a 47 year-old refugee from Guinea, tested negative for the Ebola virus. Bah, who has been in Brazil less than a month, had sought medical help for symptoms similar to those of Ebola late last week.
“We have just received the report from the Evandro Chagas Institute in Belem confirming the negative result for the second sample. We now consider the suspected (Ebola) case as unfounded,” said Brazil’s Health Minister, Arthur Chioro during a press conference on Monday afternoon.
Minister Chioro also announced that the patient has been taken out of the isolation ward and the 64 people who were known to have contact with Bah and were being monitored by health officials were also given a clean bill of health on Monday.
Bah arrived in in São Paulo, Brazil on September 19th, making his way down to Parana state, where he arrived on September 24th. On October 9th Bah went to an emergency health unit with a fever. Health agents suspected the man had been infected with the Ebola virus and contacted federal authorities. On October 10th Bah was transferred to Rio de Janeiro and put in an isolated ward so that further testing could be performed.
During Monday’s press conference Brazil’s Health Minister said that despite the negative results preventive measures against the deadly disease would continue to be implemented, including the monitoring of ports and airports. “All preventive and precautionary measures in regards to Ebola remain,” said Chioro. The official said that the Ministry would be informing the World Health Organization as well as national health secretaries about the latest tests results.