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Patient being treated in US for possible Ebola exposure

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Another patient is being tested in the United States
for possible Ebola exposure — this time, in
California.

The unidentified patient is being isolated in a
“specially equipped negative pressure room” at the
Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical
Center.

Trained staff are using protective equipment,
coordinated with infectious disease specialists, to
provide care for the patient, said Dr. Stephen M.
Parodi, director of hospital operations at Kaiser
Permanente Northern California, in a statement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will
be testing the patient’s blood samples to determine
whether the Ebola virus is present.

All necessary precautions are being taken to safeguard other
patients and staff, the hospital said.

No further information about the patient has been
released.

Earlier this month, a patient with a high fever and
gastrointestinal symptoms was admitted to Mount
Sinai Hospital in New York City for Ebola testing, but
tested negative.

He recently traveled to a country in West Africa
where Ebola has been reported, the hospital said in a
statement. In July, two Americans, Nancy Writebol
and Dr. Kent Brantly, became infected with the virus
when working with Ebola patients in Liberia.

Both are currently being treated at Emory University
Hospital in Atlanta.

Ebola doesn’t spread through airborne or
waterborne methods. It spreads through contact with
organs and bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, urine
and other secretions of infected people.

There is no FDA-approved treatment for Ebola, and
Emory will use what isolation unit supervisor Dr.
Bruce Ribner calls “supportive care.” That means
carefully tracking a patient’s symptoms, vital signs
and organ function and taking measures, such as
blood transfusions and dialysis, to keep patients
stable.

The Ebola virus causes viral hemorrhagic fever,
which refers to a group of viruses that affect multiple
organ systems in the body and are often
accompanied by bleeding.

Early symptoms include sudden onset of fever,
weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat.
They later progress to vomiting, diarrhea, impaired
kidney and liver function — and sometimes internal
and external bleeding.

Emory’s isolation unit aims to optimize care for those
with highly infectious diseases and is one of four U.S.
institutions capable of providing such treatment.

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