By Jim Hagerty
A person admitted to Rockford Memorial Hospital with symptoms possibly related to Ebola Monday, Oct. 13, does not have the virus, hospital officials announced Tuesday, Oct. 14.
“Given heightened awareness about Ebola virus, we utilized full isolation and other precautions in treating this patient,” Dan Parod, hospital senior vice president, said in a statement. “It was good news that this patient is not at risk and this case proved to be an excellent, real-life test of our preparedness capabilities. We worked with local resources and the Centers for Disease Control to scrupulously follow protocol and provide care to this patient, while protecting staff and the community. We are glad it had a happy ending.”
The patient was brought to the hospital after experiencing symptoms consistent with Ebola and a number of others illnesses while traveling by air. Officials say the hospital took full precautions until the risk of exposure was investigated and dismissed.
Ebola symptoms include severe headache, vomiting, muscle and abdominal pain and bleeding. The virus is not airborne. It is contracted through contact with infected body fluids—blood, semen, urine, feces and saliva. Ebola enters the body through a cut or scrape.
As of this report, more than 4,000 Eb0la deaths have been reported in West Africa. There’s been two confirmed in the United States. A man who returned from West Africa carrying the virus died in a Texas hospital last week. A nurse who cared for the man has now been infected, however, officials are unsure how she became exposed.
A cure for Ebola has not been released to the public, although an experimental vaccine developed in Canada is being tested.