Denver Man Returns From Congo, Isolated For Possible Ebola

Is the Ebola scare, which ravaged markets – however briefly – in late 2014, coming back?

Overnight, Colorado health officials rushed to determine if a man who recently worked with sick people in eastern Congo and became suddenly ill Sunday in Denver had contracted the deadly Ebola virus. 

According to the Denver Post, officials from Denver Health and Hospitals were waiting on Sunday night for test results from a state health lab but said that, based on an initial test in a special isolated unit, they do not believe the man has Ebola. A Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) bulletin late Sunday said testing “is negative for Ebola.”

The man had been working with sick and dead people in an area of eastern Congo where a recent outbreak of Ebola had largely dissipated with no new Ebola cases reported over the past 45 days. However, on Sunday morning he reported sudden severe symptoms at his residence in Denver, Denver Health chief medical officer Connie Price said.

Connie Savor Price M.D., from the Infectious Disease Department of Medicine at Denver Health

The man told health officials he felt ill Sunday morning, reported having worked recently as medical missionary in eastern Congo, and arrived at the hospital at about 8:30 a.m. by ambulance. Doctors set up a special isolation unit and were assessing his condition.

“The patient’s symptoms could represent a variety of common illnesses,” Denver Health spokeswoman Jennifer Hillmann said. “The patient in question had reported being in an area of the Congo on a medical missionary trip, but he was in a location where the Ebola outbreak had been officially declared over, with no cases reported for 45 days, according to the CDC.”

“We felt that, if he had Ebola, then he could be very communicable … We had no wiggle room to be wrong,” Price said adding that the man “became ill very suddenly this morning,” she said, declining to specify his exact symptoms but saying they could mimic illnesses including flu and appendicitis. “He is getting better, so that is good.”

Hospital officials said they were “on normal operations” and that “there is no threat or concern for patient, staff or visitor safety.” Denver Department of Public Health and Environment officials couldn’t be reached late Sunday.

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The good news is that it appears this was a fale alarm, and at the hospital Sunday afternoon, staffers called the situation “under control.”

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Author: Tyler Durden

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