Sacramento patient tests negative for Ebola

"The case in Sacramento County demonstrates that the system is working," the state health officer said in a statement.
"The case in Sacramento County demonstrates that the system is working," the state health officer said in a statement. Photo by NIAID via Flickr Creative Commons

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that the patient in Sacramento who was tested for the Ebola virus does not have the disease, the California Department of Public Health announced late Thursday.

"We are pleased with the negative outcome of the Ebola test and wish the patient a speedy recovery," state health officer Dr. Ron Chapman said in a statement.

"The case in Sacramento County demonstrates that the system is working," said Chapman. "This patient was quickly identified, appropriate infection control procedures were implemented, and public health authorities were notified."

Those procedures included isolating the patient in a specially equipped negative pressure room, and providing the staff caring for the patient with infection control training, including personal protective equipment, according to a statement from Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento.

In a conference call with reporters earlier in the week, state health officials did not identify which West African nation the patient visited or came from, and refused to provide any personal details about the patient, citing privacy concerns. They said the patient was at low risk for the disease, but was tested out of an abundance of caution. 

There are currently no confirmed cases of Ebola in California, and no patients who have been admitted to state hospitals who are considered to be at high risk for the disease, according to CDC criteria, the state health agency said.

In its statement, the state health department underscored that the risk of the spread of Ebola in California is low, because the state has "appropriate protocols" in place to prevent the spread of the disease. Local health departments will investigate suspected cases of Ebola in consultation with the state health agency, and will follow recommended isolation and infection control procedures.

Anyone who has traveled to an affected country and develops a fever within three weeks of returning should contact a health care provider and alert the provider to his or her travel history, the agency said.

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