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New York Patient ‘Unlikely’ to be Infected with Ebola, Officials Stated

Update Date: Aug 05, 2014 09:12 AM EDT
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A test revealed that the patient hospitalized at Mount Sinai is "unlikely" to be carrying the Ebola virus. According to the New York City's health department, the male patient was admitted to the hospital's emergency room due to a high fever and gastrointestinal (GI) problems. After learning that the man had recently visited West Africa where there is a current Ebola outbreak, the hospital had him "placed in strict isolation," He was immediately tested for Ebola.

"After consultation with CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and Mount Sinai, the Health Department has concluded that the patient is unlikely to have Ebola," the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a statement reported in the Washington Post. "Specimens are being tested for common causes of illness and to definitively exclude Ebola."

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has mainly affected Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. So far, there have been more than 1,300 confirmed cases with more than 700 fatalities. American officials have warned travelers to avoid this region. Airline workers and doctors have been told to remain on high alert for people who might have just returned from Africa and is exhibiting symptoms of a potential infection.

The initial symptoms of an infection include onset high fever, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and intense weakness. As the infection worsens, other symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, impaired kidney and liver function, rash, and occasionally internal and external bleeding. There is currently no vaccine or antiviral therapies for Ebola. Treatment is the most effective when the infection is caught early on. Furthermore, American hospitals are better equipped at containing the virus and preventing it from spreading to the community.

"All necessary steps are being taken to ensure the safety of all patients, visitors and staff," Mount Sinai reassured according to ABC News. "We will continue to work closely with federal, state and city health officials to address and monitor this case, keep the community informed and provide the best quality care to all of our patients."

Currently, there is one infected American who is being treated in Atlanta. Another infected American is expected to arrive Tuesday.

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