California Patient Being Tested For Ebola Virus

A patient at a hospital in California is being tested for the Ebola virus, Huffington Post is reporting.

As of this post, nothing is known about the patient - sex, age, how he or she may have come into contact with the Ebola virus, etc. His or her blood samples have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta for testing, with results to come in a couple of days.

As a precautionary measure, the patient is being kept in an isolation room with an abundance of virus protocols. Stephen Parodi, infectious disease specialist at Kaiser, told Sacramento's News 10:

"In order to protect our patients, staff and physicians, even though infection with the [Ebola] 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. 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."
As of this post, there are only two confirmed cases of the Ebola virus in the U.S. Nancy Writebol, a nurse, and Dr. Kent Brantly, both contracted the disease while serving as medical missionaries in West Africa and are currently being treated at Emory University Medical Center in Atlanta.

Several other suspected Ebola cases in the U.S. have been tested since the outbreak, but all testes have come back negative, or are awaiting results. Most recently, a woman in New Mexico is being kept in isolation after returning from Sierra Leone and complaining of symptoms of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever; test results are forthcoming, according to Huffington Post.

Symptoms of the Ebola virus can appear anywhere from two days to 21 days after exposure, according to the CDC, and include fever, muscle pain, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, and unexplained bleeding and bruises. Death results from internal bleeding; Ebola Hmorrhagic Fever has a fatality rate between 50 and 90 percent. There is no known cure, although the Zmapp drug has shown some promise; currently Writebol and Dr. Brantly are being treated with it. A Spanish priest, Miguel Pajares, was also treated with ZMapp but later died (see this Inquisitr article).

Despite its terrifying spread in Africa, the likelihood of an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. is staggeringly small. Short of actively trying to contract the virus, you are extremely unlikely to come into contact with it (see Your Chances Of Getting Ebola: Almost Zero - Inquisitr).

Do you believe there's a possibility of an Ebola virus outbreak in the U.S.? Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Image courtesy of: Yahoo