Post Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:16 pm

DC hospital evaluating patient who has Ebola-like symptoms

Howard University Hospital.jpg

Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C., has admitted a patient with Ebola-like symptoms who had recently traveled to Nigeria, the hospital confirmed Friday.

The patient, who is in stable condition, came to the hospital overnight "presenting symptoms that could be associated with Ebola," university spokesperson Kerry-Ann Hamilton said in a statement.

"In an abundance of caution, we have activated the appropriate infection control protocols, including isolating the patient," she said. "Our medical team continues to evaluate and monitor progress in close collaboration with the CDC and the Department of Health."

While Ebola continues to devastate West African nations including Liberia and Sierra Leone, the outbreak in Nigeria may actually be coming to an end, with no new cases since Aug. 31, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported earlier this week. At one point, 894 people in Nigeria were being monitored since they had come into contact with someone sick with Ebola.

The deadliest Ebola outbreak in history has killed at least 3,338 people in West Africa and infected thousands more, according to the World Health Organization.

But before an Ebola case was confirmed in Dallas this week, there had not been a single Ebola diagnosis in the United States.

Potential Ebola patients who were evaluated in New York, California, New Mexico and Miami all tested negative for the virus.

People with Ebola are not contagious until they begin showing symptoms, which include a fever of greater than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, severe headache and vomiting. And you can only get Ebola through contact of a contagious person's bodily fluids.

Several Ebola patients have been transported from West Africa to the U.S., including three Americans who were in Liberia — doctors Richard Sacra and Kent Brantly and missionary worker Nancy Writebol — who have already been discharged after they were successfully treated here. A Liberian American, Patrick Sawyer, fell ill after traveling to Nigeria and died of the disease.

Washington Post
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