It appears that the scare over a Mount Sinai hospital patient who exhibited Ebola-like symptoms was unfounded, New York City health department said Monday night.
Mount Sinai had placed the unnamed man -- who recently traveled to a similarly unidentified West African country -- in medical isolation after he came to the emergency room on Monday with a high fever and gastrointestinal trouble, both of which are symptomatic of the Ebola virus, reported ABC 7 News. But the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene told reporters that, following a consultation with the CDC and the hospital, the patient is "unlikely to have Ebola."
In a statement issued earlier Monday, the hospital said it had placed the patient in isolation and had taken precautions to ensure the safety of all patients, visitors and staff.
At least 826 people have been killed and another 1,440 infected with the Ebola virus since late March in the worst outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever to date. The virus has largely been contained in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, but two cases have been confirmed in Nigeria. One of those cases was a Liberian-American man who was planning to return to Minnesota in mid-August.
Dr. Kent Brantly, an American aid worker who became infected with the virus while treating patients in Liberia, has been safely transported o Atlanta's Emory University Hospital for treatment at a state-of-the-art isolation unit there. U.S. officials also plan to transport his colleague Nancy Writebol, who was infected around the same time, to the same facility on Tuesday morning.
The Centers For Disease Control sent an alert to U.S. hospitals on how to identify and handle potential Ebola cases.