University of California Hospital Investigating Possible Ebola Case in Sacramento

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A man puts on protective gear during a demonstration on Ebola fighting techniques at LAX on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

A University of California hospital in Sacramento was on Thursday treating a patient with possible Ebola symptoms.

UC Davis Medical Center confirmed to KTLA sister station KTXL that a patient is at the hospital with a suspected case of Ebola.

The patient was moved to the university medical center Thursday morning from Mercy General Hospital in East Sacramento, the center said in a brief statement. The medical center, which has been designated as a “priority hospital to treat confirmed Ebola patients,” is operating as normal, the statement said.

A 3:30 p.m. news media briefing was canceled, but an update was expected later Thursday.

The hospital did not describe the patient’s symptoms or what has led doctors to believe the individual could have Ebola.

The patient was considered low risk, and more information was being gathered, a spokeswoman for the Sacramento County health department said, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The patient has not been confirmed to have Ebola, the California Department of Public Health emphasized in a brief statement about the case.

“Whenever there is a person displaying symptoms that may be Ebola, who has recently traveled to Sierra Leone, Liberia or Guinea, certain precautions are taken including isolating the patient, ruling out other infectious diseases, and testing for Ebola if warranted,” said Dr. Gil Chavez, the state epidemiologist, in the statement.

The state and county public health departments were working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the hospital to ensure that proper protocols are followed.

Dignity Health, the San Francisco-based hospital organization that runs Mercy General, released the following statement:

“In coordination with the public health department and CDC, Dignity Health Mercy General Hospital has transferred a patient to UC Davis Medical Center, which is specifically equipped to care for patients suspected of having or diagnosed with Ebola as part of the public health department’s preparedness plan.”

Yellow police “caution” tape was posted outside Mercy General, and ambulances were being routed to other hospitals, KTXL reported.

The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa was the largest in history, according to the CDC. As of Sunday, there were more than 22,000 cases, including 8,810 deaths.

There have been four cases in the United States, including one death.

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