Update: Aug. 22, 7 A.M. - A patient at Kaiser Permanente's South Sacramento Medical Center has tested negative for Ebola, the disease that's killed more than 1,300 people in West Africa. California health officials made the announcement last night.
The California Department of Public Health says the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested a sample from the patient, which came back negative for the disease.
The patient had been hospitalized in isolation at Kaiser in a negative pressure room, with doctors and nurses wearing protective equipment. State and county health officials say the fact that the patient was quickly identified and isolated shows the system is working.
The Department of Public Health says there are currently no confirmed cases of Ebola in California, and no patients admitted to California hospitals who are considered to be at high risk of the disease.
The Department recommends that anyone who's traveled to an affected country and develops a fever within three weeks of returning home should see a doctor.
Update: 11:00 p.m. - Sacramento Patient Tests Negative for Ebola
The Centers For Disease Control, the California Department of Public Health, and the Sacramento County Health Department confirmed late Thursday that a patient held in isolation since Tuesday has tested negative for the Ebola virus.
Dr. Stephen M. Parodi, infection disease specialist and director of hospital operations for Kaiser Permanente Northern California released the results in a statement:
We are pleased with this good news for our patient from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Our infectious diseases experts worked closely with the Sacramento County Health Department, California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the CDC. We value the strong partnership we have with these agencies and extend our appreciation to them. The coordinated response and support was essential in working swiftly to rule out Ebola.
We also want to acknowledge the efforts of the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento physicians, nurses and staff in providing excellent care to this patient. Their knowledge, skill, compassion and professionalism have been outstanding. We are proud of the work our teams are doing to exercise every precaution necessary to protect the health, safety, and well-being of Kaiser Permanente members and employees, following CDC guidelines.
We placed the patient in a specially equipped negative pressure room, and provided the staff who were caring for the patient with appropriate infection control training, which includes personal protective equipment. We also provided all employees at the South Sacramento Medical Center with education regarding Ebola virus disease.
As health care providers we remain vigilant for infectious diseases such as Ebola because the rapid implementation of infection prevention measures protects our community. Read the California Department of Public Health press release.
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California health officials say there’s not much reason to worry right now about getting infected by the Ebola virus. This comes on the heels of an announcement that a Sacramento patient is in isolation while being tested for the virus.
Health officials say there are three criteria to determine risk of Ebola infection: Travel to outbreak regions, the patient’s specific exposures and their clinical picture.
They say the patient now in a Sacramento isolation unit is at low-risk of Ebola infection.
But Dr. Gil Chavez with the California Department of Public Health says if a case of Ebola were to present, the state would be prepared.
“The risk of the spread of Ebola is extremely low, our advanced health care system has appropriate protocols in place to prevent the spread of this often deadly disease," says Chavez.
The state says isolation units are widely available throughout the state, and public health agencies have the resources to track people exposed to potential Ebola patients.