Patient Tested in Denver Hospital For Ebola Virus
A man who fell ill on the morning of July 29 was placed in isolation by medical staff in Denver, Colorado over concerns he was exposed to the deadly Ebola virus. Tests for Ebola came back negative by night time on the same day, officials told CBS Denver.
Medical staff at Denver Health said the patient recently traveled to the Congo and had returned to the U.S. two days prior.
He was placed under isolation because of the severity of his symptoms, which, if Ebola was diagnosed, would have raised concerns for a high chance of transmission to others. Paramedics transported the man from his home in Denver to the hospital.
The hospital said in a statement, “Denver Health is on normal operations and there is no threat or concern for patients’ staff’s or visitors’ safety. The hospital is open for business as usual.”
Denver Health is on normal operations and there is no threat or concern for patient, staff or visitor safety. pic.twitter.com/lPvqkBaLDm
— Denver Health (@DenverHealthMed) July 29, 2018
The man’s symptoms were vague and could have represented a variety of common illnesses, “anything from the flu to appendicitis,” Chief Medical Officer of Denver Health, Connie Price, told reporters.
Ebola is a rare and deadly disease caused by a virus from Africa, and there is currently no approved vaccine or treatment for the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Three individuals who had contact with the patient were put in isolation, as was the vehicle that transported him, pending final test results.
“I was very proud of our staff this morning. The easy part of this was the medical side. The staff knew what to do,” Price said.
“Our struggle is making sure that we’re providing enough info to the public, communicating appropriately and that is always the hardest part,” she added.
“If we were to confirm Ebola, we follow our protocols, we continue to take care of this patient in our unit which we are confident and feel very secure in that we can continue normal operations in the hospital while continuing to care for this patient,” Price said.
This case marks the second time the hospital has had to use its bio-containment unit, which, according to CBS Denver, is a 2.9 million dollar initiative.
In 2015, Denver Health placed its first patient in isolation in its bio-containment unit and tested him for Ebola. The tests returned negative.
Denver Health is one of ten regional facilities that the CDC has designated to care for those with Ebola.