By Jim Forsyth
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - Tests confirm that a U.S. Army soldier who just returned from West Africa and was found dead near his Texas base where he was posted was not infected with Ebola, Fort Hood officials said late Tuesday.
Army officials had been awaiting those results from more conclusive tests after an initial screening showed the soldier, who was self-monitoring for symptoms, had not been infected with the virus.
"There is no evidence of a public health threat or EVD (Ebola virus disease) exposure to community or law enforcement officials involved in the current investigation of the death of a Ft. Hood soldier," post officials said in a statement.
The soldier was found dead in front of his off-post home in the nearby town of Killeen early Tuesday.
A cause of death was not named for the unidentified soldier, who had recently returned to Fort Hood in central Texas on emergency leave, post officials said.
Like other soldiers returning from West Africa, the soldier had been monitoring himself twice daily and reporting his status to medical officials, they said.
"We are not saying Ebola at all," Killeen police spokeswoman Carol Smith told Reuters on Tuesday. "It's just that because of the circumstances from West Africa, we are erring on the side of caution."
A brigade from Fort Hood has been deployed in Liberia since October in support of "Operation United Assistance," a program to help control the Ebola outbreak in the West African country.
(Reporting by Karen Brooks; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)