Health officials: Patient tested negative for the Ebola virus

A patient at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center tested negative for the Ebola virus, health officials said Thursday night.

"We are pleased with the negative outcome of the Ebola test and wish the patient a speedy recovery," California Department of Public Health (CDHP) Director and state health officer Dr. Ron Chapman said. "The case in Sacramento County demonstrates that the system is working. This patient was quickly identified, appropriate infection control procedures were implemented, and public health authorities were notified."

The patient was admitted into the hospital and placed in isolation on Tuesday. Blood samples were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be tested for the Ebola virus. On Wednesday, health officials said the patient was at low risk for the virus and had recently traveled to a West African country. They did not comment on what symptoms the patient had that raised enough concern to be tested for the deadly virus.

Test results for the Ebola virus typically take 48 hours.

The CDHP said there are currently no confirmed cases of Ebola in the state, and there have been no patients admitted into California hospitals that were considered to be at high risk of Ebola.

The announcement was made during a news conference at the medical center after 8 p.m. Thursday. Four officials spoke at the news conference: California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ron Chapman, Kaiser Permanente South Physician-in-Chief Dr. Richard Isaacs, Kaiser Permanente South Infectious Diseases Chief Dr. John Belko and Sacramento County Public Health Department Program Coordinator of Communicable Diseases & Immunization Kate McAuley.

According to the CDC, symptoms of the often fatal illness are fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and lack of appetite. Symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure to the Ebola virus, although eight to 10 days is most common. Ebola can only be spread after symptoms appear.

If a person traveled to a country affected with Ebola develops a fever within three weeks of their return, he/she should contact a health official, the CDHP said.

There isn't a cure for the Ebola virus. Some patients do recover.


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