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Possible Ebola Victim In NYC Hospital

A man who had recently traveled to a West African country appeared in the emergency room of New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital early Monday morning complaining of a high fever and gastrointestinal problems. Fearing that he might possibly have been infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa, the hospital immediately put him into isolation, as reported by the New York Times.

It will not be known if the patient’s symptoms are actually caused by the Ebola virus until his test results are back, probably by Tuesday or Wednesday.

“The patient had recently traveled to a West African country where Ebola has been reported,” a hospital spokesman said. “The patient has been placed in strict isolation and is undergoing medical screenings 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.”

Since the recent Ebola outbreak began, at least a half-dozen other people who had recently returned to the U.S. from West Africa also came down with similar symptoms that upon close examination proved not to be caused by Ebola.

An Ebola outbreak in four West African countries has killed hundreds of people and sickened more than 1,000, including two American aid workers in Liberia. One of them, Dr. Kent Brantly, was flown back to the United States on Saturday and is being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. The other, Nancy Writebol, is expected to be brought to Atlanta on Tuesday, reported ABC News.

There is no known cure for Ebola, which kills more than half the people it infects.  The  symptoms are similar to influenza, malaria and other diseases, but also include internal bleeding that can easily lead to organ failure. Diagnosis is made by a blood test.

It is highly unlikely that the New York patient has ebola, but because he had recently traveled to  West Africa,  the hospital is taking the strictest precautions in accordance with the recommendations sent out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week..

The only way to transmit the disease is through direct contact with body fluids. Therefore, under strict isolation, contagion is virtually impossible.

The death toll of the recent Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone climbed to 887, according to the World Health Organization.

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