LIVING
03/25/2014 10:23 EDT

Saskatchewan Man's Illness Viral, But Not Ebola, Says UN Health Agency

UPDATE: This story has been updated since its original publishing.

A Saskatchewan man who was diagnosed yesterday with viral hemorrhagic fever, a general term for a number of diseases that include Ebola and yellow fever, has tested negative to the class of diseases, CBC News reports.

On Tuesday morning, the head of public relations for the World Health Organization confirmed via Twitter that the man had tested negative for Ebola, as well as Marburg, Lassa, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) and Rift Valley Fever, and that further lab results would come from Canada.

The man had travelled to Saskatoon from west Africa, where Ebola has broken out in Guinea and potentially spread to Liberia in the past week, according to CBC. He is currently being held in isolation at St. Paul's Hospital in Saskatoon.

"All that we know at this point is that we have a person who is critically ill, who travelled from a country where these diseases occur," said Saskatchewan's deputy medical officer Dr. Denise Werker in a press conference. "There is no risk to the general public at all about this incident."

Members of the public are likely most familiar with Ebola from the film "Outbreak," and while some aspects shown in the movie are accurate, such as its beginnings as flu-like symptoms and bleeding (which can occur in 50 per cent of cases), others are exaggerated. Ebola is a highly contagious disease and can result in fatality in 90 per cent of cases, but is only transmitted from person to person through blood, bodily fluids and tissues of infected people, according to the World Health Organization.

Other categories of illnesses in the viral hemorrhagic fever family include Lassa fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, yellow fever, dengue fever, and Marburg hemorrhagic fever, reports the Ottawa Citizen. As reported by the WHO, the man tested negative to most of these.

According to the Regina Leader Post, the Saskatoon man was not showing symptoms of illness while travelling, which is good news for members of the public.