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NYC Hospital Isolates Traveler for Possible Ebola

Monday, August 04, 2014

A man at Mount Sinai Hospital is being tested for Ebola.

He arrived at the Upper East Side hospital's emergency room on Monday morning with high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms, according to hospital officials who briefed reporters in the evening. They said the patient had recently traveled to a West African country where there is an ongoing Ebola outbreak.

The officials said staff quickly isolated the man and took precautions to protect staff, patients and visitors to Mount Sinai. They said the patient only had casual contact with staff — not enough to spread Ebola, which is transmitted by direct contact with bodily fluids.

In a statement issued earlier in the afternoon, Mount Sinai spokeswoman Dorie Klissas said doctors are working closely with federal, state and city health officials to determine the source of his illness.

Blood samples from the patient were sent to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, and results are expected in 24 to 48 hours.

Mount Sinai said odds are that the patient has an ailment other than Ebola. By evening, doctors said he was in good condition and was being isolated out of an abundance of caution.

Hospital officials said Mount Sinai staff and those who were in the ER at the time the patient arrived are not at risk for contracting Ebola because the man was isolated quickly and only came in casual contact with doctors and nurses.

Dr. David Reich, President of Mount Sinai, said if the patient tests positive for Ebola, the hospital is equipped to isolate and treat him.

To date, the latest outbreak in West Africa has killed 887 people in four nations: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

One man is currently being treated for the illness in Atlanta and a second American — a church missionary  is expected to arrive there for treatment on Tuesday.

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