2nd test confirms Kansas City patient does not have Ebola - KCTV5


2nd test confirms Kansas City patient does not have Ebola

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The University of Kansas Hospital reports the first lab results indicate the patient currently in isolation does not have Ebola. The University of Kansas Hospital reports the first lab results indicate the patient currently in isolation does not have Ebola.

The University of Kansas Hospital reports the second lab results confirm the patient put in isolation does not have Ebola and the patient has been moved to a lower level of isolation.

More information is expected to be provided in a Thursday morning news conference.

Tuesday's initial results that also concluded the patient didn't have Ebola came from a private lab in Omaha.

However, until a more confirmatory test that is more sensitive and specific came from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, the hospital said they would keep the patient in isolation as a precaution.

“This has been a gratifying day,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lee Norman in a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

The Kansas City, KS, man in his 40s went to the hospital Monday morning with significant weakness and diarrhea and he had previously had a fever. Norman said it was encouraging that the man did not have a fever or internal bleeding, two symptoms of Ebola.

Norman said the man under their care is doing better and his fluids are now back to normal.

“Big sigh of relief from him and those that love him and care for him, and all of us really are just very pleased on his behalf,” Norman said. “He still doesn't feel great and he has an underlying illness that is going to be requiring some attention.”

Norman said the man was suffering even before he landed in the U.S.

He worked as a medic on a commercial ship off Africa's west coast until about five days ago and treated patients with a variety of conditions. He was exposed to typhoid and Norman said that a tropical illness like it or typhus was the likely the cause of his illness. Doctors are treating him with antibiotics for the common regional ailments.

“As much as we would like to stand down and have less stringent infection control practices, we are keeping everything in place until we get the final word from Atlanta,” Norman said.

Hospital staff members wear protective equipment while treating him and will not treat other patients until his diagnosis is finalized. The patient is being treated in an area with its own ventilation system and "spotters" are ensuring that infection control guidelines are followed, Norman said.

If it is one of the other contagious diseases, the man will be isolated, but in a less intense way. So far, though, he hasn't been tested for anything else because the hospital is being extremely cautious about exposing lab personnel to his blood until they get a clear negative on Ebola.

“It is a dangerous agent and it has to be handled in certain kinds of labs,” Norman said.

For now, the chief medical officer said, as long as the patient is getting better with the antibiotic treatments, they can afford to hold off on additional tests until the CDC tests come back.

For Kim Luke, it's been a scary few weeks as news of the deadly virus spread from Africa to Dallas and potentially to Kansas City.

"Yes I'm concerned," she said. "I'm just very aware. In the restaurant we were just in I was washing my hands, sanitizing and just praying we wouldn't ever be in contact with anything like that."

For now it doesn't appear any people in the area were at risk. If that changes, area hospitals say they're ready.

“It's just really important to remember Ebola is a very rare disease. You have to be vigilant about it, but not be hysterical about it,” Norman said.

About seven weeks ago, the hospital treated a 23-year-old man who had been in Sierra Leone in West Africa and said he was concerned he had Ebola because he was experiencing chills, fever and muscle aches, all symptoms of the disease. Tests showed he had malaria and not Ebola.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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