According to figures released by the WHO, the number of people infected with the deadly Ebola virus reached 20,381 people by the end of 2014. (Reuters Photo)
The government of war-torn Somalia has moved to reassure residents that there was no outbreak of Ebola in the country, dismissing rumours that a man had brought the virus back with him from Guinea.
"As soon as we heard the rumours of a case of Ebola virus in Somalia, we acted quickly and decisively to isolate the alleged victim, a Somali citizen named Abdulkadir Jinow Barow, and those who had been in contact with him," Health Minister Ali Mohamed Mohamud told reporters.
The minister hit out at "irresponsible reporting without checking of facts or sources by some elements of the media, combined with the wildfire spreading of rumours on social media", saying the rumours "could have caused widespread panic" in the Horn of Africa nation.
"The man did not have the Ebola virus," the minister told reporters, speaking alongside the purported Ebola victim - who also insisted he was "perfectly healthy".
"He has now been given the all clear and we can state categorically that there has been no outbreak of Ebola in Somalia," the minister said.
The man falsely reported to have been infected with Ebola in Guinea, where he ran a business, said he was "very confused and upset" by the rumours.