Southland Health Officials Work to Implement, Improve Ebola Safeguards

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The paramedics at Los Angeles Fire Station 51 got the call Tuesday night: A traveler, just off an evening flight, was ill in an airport terminal and needed medical care.

Ebola virus imagery. (Credit: CDC)

Ebola virus imagery. (Credit: CDC)

The patient had flown in from a U.S. airport, the crew learned, but had initially set out from Liberia — an epicenter of the uncontrolled Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has killed more than 4,000 people so far.

The revelation set off a series of precautions. The paramedics donned protective gear and called ahead to warn emergency room workers at Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, who placed the patient in isolation and called public health authorities.

Within 24 hours, based on new details and a careful review of the patient's symptoms and tests, county health officials said they had not been dealing with a suspected Ebola case after all, and praised medical teams for thinking on their feet.

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