Pennsylvania hospital tests patient for possible Ebola exposure

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By Erik Ortiz

A patient is being tested for the Ebola virus while at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, officials said early Wednesday.

The Philadelphia-based facility said the evaluation was done out of “an abundance of caution,” although it did not provide more information about the patient or the circumstances for their treatment.

Dr. PJ Brennan, Penn Medicine’s chief medical officer, said in a statement that preliminary testing shows the patient has another condition.

“Proper protocols and precautions will remain in place to ensure the safety of all of our patients and staff,” he said.

The testing follows another case in Nebraska last month, when an American man was monitored for possible exposure to Ebola following a trip to Africa. He was released after the required 21-day monitoring period when it was determined he didn’t have any symptoms.

The Congo since August has been gripped by an Ebola outbreak that has killed at least 430 people and been confirmed in more than 730 cases, according to the World Health Organization’s figures this month.

The major Ebola epidemic that began in 2014 and lasted through 2016 affected the western African nations of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, and led to the deaths of more than 11,300 people.

Ebola is an extremely deadly virus that causes a hemorrhagic fever, and named after a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it was first discovered in 1976. There’s not a proven specific cure for Ebola.

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