LOS ANGELES - A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus has been put in isolation at a hospital in Sacramento, California, health group Kaiser Permanente announced Tuesday.
"We are working with the Sacramento County Division of Public Health regarding a patient admitted to the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus," said Stephen Parodi, an infectious disease specialist.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be testing blood samples to rule out the presence of the virus, he said.
"To protect our patients, staff and physicians, even though infection with the virus is unconfirmed, we are taking the actions recommended by the CDC as a precaution, just as we do for other patients with a suspected infectious disease," Parodi said.
"This includes isolation of the patient in a specially equipped negative pressure room and the use of personal protective equipment by trained staff, coordinated with infectious disease specialists. This enables the medical centre to provide care in a setting that safeguards other patients and medical teams." Two US patients infected with the virus, a health care worker and a doctor, returned to the United States from Africa for treatment in late July.
Currently there is no approved antiviral treatment or vaccine, only experimental phase treatments.
The global death toll from Ebola stands at 1,229, with the bulk of cases in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.