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Possible Ebola patient checked in at Calif. hospital

The patient has been isolated and the CDC will test a blood sample to see if the person, who may have been exposed, actually has the virus

By Vivian Ho
San Francisco Chronicle

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A person who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus was checked into Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center, health officials said Tuesday.

Hospital officials alerted the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services, and department officials said they are in touch with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC will test a blood sample drawn at the hospital to detect whether the Ebola virus is present.

Results are expected in a few days, according to county officials.

"In order to protect our patients, staff and physicians, even though infection with the virus is unconfirmed, we are taking the actions recommended by the CDC as a precaution, just as we do for other patients with a suspected infectious disease," said Dr. Stephen Parodi, an infectious disease specialist at Kaiser Permanente North California.

"This includes isolation of the patient in a specially equipped negative pressure room and the use of personal protective equipment by trained staff, coordinated with infectious disease specialists," he said.

Kaiser would not comment on when the patient -- it's unknown if they are male or female -- was admitted to the hospital or where if they might have traveled recently to West Africa, where an Ebola outbreak has killed more than 1,100 people.

Earlier this month, two U.S. aid workers who were infected with the deadly virus in Liberia were evacuated to Emory University hospital in Atlanta.

Kent Brantly, 33, a Texas doctor, told Reuters on Friday that he was "recovering in every way" and hoped to be released soon. Nancy Writebol, a 59-year-old missionary from Charlotte, N.C., also remains hospitalized at Emory. Her son said that she, too, was getting better.

Both patients were treated with ZMapp, an experimental drug being developed by Mapp Biopharmaceutical for use with people infected with Ebola virus.

Also earlier this month, a man who had traveled to West Africa arrived at the emergency room at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City with a high fever and stomach ache. The hospital tested him for Ebola, but the city's health department said he was "unlikely" to have the virus.


©2014 San Francisco Chronicle

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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