Monday, November 3, 2014

Preliminary test results show NC patient negative for Ebola

The patient has been identified as a man, but his name has not been released.
Ebola cannot be ruled out, however, until additional testing takes place on Wednesday, which is about 72 hours after the patient’s fever first developed.
The patient was admitted to Duke University Hospital for evaluation and testing for the potential Ebola virus infection, the hospital said on Sunday night.
Until the results of additional testing are known, the patient will remain in the contained, isolated and secured unit at Duke.
According to Duke University Hospital Chief Medical Officer Lisa Pickett, the man is being cared for by a medical team who is not caring for any other patients.
“The team taking care of him are Duke University faculty and staff who have volunteered specifically for this duty and have been particularly well-trained in both the procedures of donning protective gear removing that gear and functioning within the isolation unit,” Pickett said. “All of those staff are calling only for this patient; they will not be caring for any other patients.”
Officials said the patient left Liberia and arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport on Friday, which is one of five airports screening people for illnesses linked to Ebola.
The patient had no symptoms upon arrival in the United States.
The patient arrived in Person County on Saturday and developed a fever on Sunday. He was then transferred to Duke University Hospital.
A blood sample from the patient was sent to the State Laboratory of Public Health, in the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, for preliminary testing.
The patient has been and will continue to be interviewed regarding close contacts, activities and travel. Individuals who may have come in contact with the individual once symptoms were present continue to be monitored by their local health departments.
“State and county officials have been working closely with health care providers since July to prepare for the possibility that a patient in North Carolina might be diagnosed with Ebola,” said Governor Pat McCrory.  “I want to thank Person County Health Director Janet Clayton, Durham County Health Director Gayle Harris, county officials and Duke University Hospital staff to ensure that the patient was transported and admitted using the appropriate health and safety protocols.
Ebola is only contagious after the onset of symptoms.
Ebola is not spread through the air, water or food, or simply by being near an infected person.  Ebola is only spread through unprotected contact with blood or body fluids from an infected person who has symptoms, or with objects like needles that have been contaminated with the virus.
Anyone who becomes ill within 21 days after traveling to an affected area in West Africa should contact a health care provider right away and limit their contact with others until they have been evaluated.

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