A patient at a hospital in Philadelphia is being tested for the Ebola virus. However, preliminary testing shows that the patient probably has another condition.
According to the Associated Press, the patient was tested at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. However, preliminary testing shows that the unidentified patient probably has a different, non-Ebola condition. As noted by AP, officials are skeptical that “the patient has the potentially deadly illness.”
WPVI, the ABC station in Philadelphia, was first to break the story.
“A patient who met screening criteria for Ebola testing is currently being evaluated at HUP while tests to assess the patient’s condition are completed,” Penn Medicine told the TV station Tuesday.
An Ebola outbreak was declared in the Eastern Congo last year, although it’s not clear if the patient has recently visited that part of the world.
Ebola, an often fatal viral disease that causes both internal and external injuries, was first identified in two African countries in the 1970s. There have been various outbreaks over the years, including in Zaire in 1995 and in Uganda in 2000.
A major West African outbreak took place in 2013 and 2014, and there were even a handful of cases in the United States. Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national who visited the United States, died of the disease in October of 2014, while two nurses who had cared for Duncan were also infected, although they survived. An American doctor who had worked in Africa with Doctors Without Borders was also infected, though he survived as well. Other Ebola patients were brought to the U.S. for medical treatment.
There have been no other confirmed cases of Ebola in the United States since.
Donald Trump, then a private citizen, was vocal at the time about his opposition to allowing Ebola patients into the U.S.
Penn Medicine confirmed to Action News early Wednesday morning that a patient was being tested for Ebola. https://t.co/ptkgp8Y6Ri— Action News on 6abc (@6abc) February 6, 2019
“Ebola patient will be brought to the U.S. in a few days – now I know for sure that our leaders are incompetent. KEEP THEM OUT OF HERE!” the future president tweeted in July of 2014.
“The U.S. cannot allow EBOLA infected people back. People that go to far away [sic] places to help out are great – but must suffer the consequences!” Trump said in another tweet the following month.
In a preview of the travel ban that he would propose as president, Trump later called for all air traffic to be halted from African countries affected by the disease.
At the time of writing, the president has not yet addressed the patient currently being tested for Ebola.