A man who had recently traveled to a West African country is in "strict isolation" at New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital after exhibiting Ebola-like symptoms, but doctors now say they don't think he has the deadly virus.
"Odds are this is not Ebola," said Dr. Jeremy Boal, Mount Sinai's chief medical officer, at a Monday evening press conference. He said he hoped that a more common cause for the man's fever would be found later on Monday or early Tuesday morning.
The man went to the hospital's emergency room in the early morning hours on Monday with a high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms, Mount Sinai spokeswoman Johanna Younghans said in an emailed statement.
The patient reported traveling to a West African country where Ebola has been spreading — the hospital wouldn't say which country due to privacy concerns — and is now in isolation. The patient is undergoing tests to determine the cause of his symptoms.
"All necessary steps are being taken to ensure the safety of all patients, visitors and staff. 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," the spokeswoman said.
“We are on a heightened state of alert,”
“We are on a heightened state of alert,” Ian Michaels, a spokesman for the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation told The New York Times.
“We have instructed all 11 of our hospitals to follow C.D.C. guidelines and be on the lookout for Ebola-like symptoms.”
Last week, another man who had traveled to West Africa was isolated at a New York City hospital after exhibiting symptoms consistent with the virus, but Ebola was ruled out after his fever dissipated.
The Ebola virus causes a hemorrhagic fever that has stricken more than 1,600 people in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and now Nigeria. At least 887 people have died.
The virus is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids, such as blood or urine, unlike an airborne virus like influenza or the common cold.
It can take up to 21 days for a person exposed to the virus to exhibit any symptoms, making it possible for infected travelers to enter the U.S. without knowing they have it.
One American aid worker is in an Atlanta-area hospital with Ebola, and another is on her way there, after both contracted the disease in Liberia. They are said to be improving.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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