Possible Ebola Case Under Evaluation in Boston

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

An individual who had been under investigation for the Ebola virus was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital for evaluation, the Boston Public Health Commission said tonight.

The BHC said the person was undergoing routine monitoring today at 2 p.m. when the determination was made to place the individual in a "specially prepared area within the hospital."

Diagnostic testing was under way and a diagnosis of Ebola has not been confirmed, the BHC said.

"The MGH has spent the past several months preparing in the event we should have a patient with suspected Ebola come to the hospital," the BHC said in a statement. "We want to reassure you that the hospital is safe. Even though it is unconfirmed that the individual has the Ebola virus, we are taking the actions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a precaution. We will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available."

At a news conference in Boston, Dr. Paul Biddinger, vice chairman for Emergency Preparedness at Mass General, said the patient is in "good spirits" and in stable condition. He declined to give details on the patient though he did say the person was previously in an Ebola-infected area. Preliminary test results may be available overnight but it may take several days to get a definitive diagnosis, he added.

There are no current confirmed cases of Ebola in the U.S. As of Nov. 26, the virus had infected 15,935 people worldwide, mostly in Western Africa, and 5,689 people have died, according to the World Health Organization.

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