01/20/2015 17:01 EST | Updated 03/22/2015 05:59 EDT

Possible case of Ebola in Quebec

Quebec public health officials say someone who recently returned from a trip to West Africa is being tested for Ebola.

The health ministry says the person, whose identity and age it will not reveal, is being tested after suffering from Ebola-like symptoms.

A provincial public health lab in Lanaudière, north of Montreal, is conducting the tests and still awaiting the results.

Ebola is a virus that is severe and often fatal in humans.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Quebec’s health ministry says it is asking all health care professionals to be more vigilant.

“Given the situation in West Africa, the Ministry is asking the health network to be vigilant regarding the Ebola virus. It is therefore expected that more laboratory tests will be requested in the coming weeks,” the statement said.

So far, five suspected cases have been reported in Quebec since September 2014. In each case, test results were negative.

Quick facts:

- A person who does not have symptoms of the Ebola virus cannot spread the disease.

- Unlike influenza, the Ebola virus is not easily transmitted from one person to another. It is spread by direct contact with blood, secretions or body fluids of an infected person or with contaminated objects.

- The first symptoms of Ebola are usually fever, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea. They resemble those of some tropical diseases. Therefore, rapid laboratory testing is the only way to determine the type of virus.