WATCH: An individual who came to Canada from Nigeria and developed a fever and flu like symptoms is under observation at Brampton Civic as a hospital wide precautionary measure. Angie Seth reports.
TORONTO – A hospital in Brampton, Ont., has instituted heightened infection control procedures after a patient who recently visited Nigeria was admitted to hospital with a fever and flu-like symptoms similar to characteristics of the Ebola virus.
Peel Region health officials said the patient has been isolated and is being evaluated after arriving at William Osler Health System’s Brampton Civic hospital on Friday.
Officials said the measures were purely precautionary given the patient’s travel history.
Dr. Eileen de Villa of Peel Public Health said the patient is showing flu-like symptoms but cautioned there has been no diagnosis yet.
“The hospital has to do its patient care work and diagnostic work in order to confirm what the exact diagnosis is,” she said.
Jason Tetro, micro-biologist and author of The Germ Code, told Global News Canada’s health care system has strong protocols in place since the SARS outbreak in 2003.
Tetro said one of the questions they now ask patients if they have recently returned from another country. If they have recently visited another country known for a disease like Ebola, infection control procedures are implemented.
“In this case, you put the patient into isolation. You wear personal protective equipment to protect your hands and skin. For testing, you have highly trained individuals to prevent any bodily fluid spread,” said Tetro.
Nigeria is among several West African countries affected by an Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 960 and infected more than 1,700 people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Public Health Agency of Canada is advising Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone due to the Ebola outbreak.
On Friday, Nigeria declared a state of emergency due to the outbreak.
The WHO said the outbreak is an international public health emergency that requires an extraordinary response to stop its spread.
Around the world there have been false alarms of Ebola in places like Britain and Hong Kong. The U.S. has investigated more than 20 reported cases but has not confirmed any inside the country.
Two American aid workers who contracted the disease in Liberia were flown to Atlanta where they are being treated at a hospital with an experimental Ebola drug.
*With files from Global News’ Carmen Chai and the Canadian Press