Ebola Case Ruled Out at Primary Children’s

Ebola Case Ruled Out at Primary Childrens

(Photo Courtesy of CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
(Photo Courtesy of CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
This story was updated Friday, Oct. 3
 
The “extremely unlikely” case of Ebola at Primary Children’s Medical Center is now officially ruled out.
The hospital released a statement on Friday noting the Center for Disease Control tested the medical sample and concluded the patient does not have the virus.
The initial rumor began Wednesday after the hospital admitted a patient who recently returned from a trip in Africa. According to a press release from the hospital, the patient was not in a region infected with Ebola, but the combination of symptoms and recent travel caused the staff to take precautions. The patient has since been released.
Andrew Pavia, chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Primary Children’s, said at a press conference that he expected the results to turn out negative for Ebola. Before the final diagnosis, he said the “probability is extremely low.”
“There should be no reason for panic,” he said.
Pavia said the hospital determined a probable “alternative diagnosis” for the patient but acted according to standard Ebola protocols to test the effectiveness of its response team. Primary Children’s has been preparing to treat a case of Ebola for two months since the outbreak began in Africa.
The disease is concentrated in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone, according to the CDC. It spreads through contact with bodily fluids, including spit, blood and excrement. Patients primarily experience fever, muscle pain, headaches, diarrhea and vomiting as symptoms. About 50 percent of the people who contract the virus die.
Ebola can only be transmitted when a patient shows symptoms, but after initial exposure, a patient may take up to 21 days to show signs of the illness. The first diagnosed case in the U.S. occurred this week in Texas. The confirmed patient may have exposed 50 people to the virus before he was admitted to an area hospital, according to The Washington Post.
Pavia said more cases of Ebola might show up in the U.S., but he hopes the public will remain calm.
“The possibility that somebody comes back to any state in the United States from a country with Ebola is real and will happen. That shouldn’t make people very nervous,” he said. “What should make them feel reassured is to know that the health care system and the public health system are ready to detect, respond, prevent and control the spread.”
For now, Bonnie Midget, spokesperson for the hospital, said the patient’s confidentiality and protection are a chief concern.
[email protected]
@CourtneyLTanner