Doctors Test Patient for Ebola in Sacramento

Ebola
Some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion is revealed in this undated handout colorized transmission electron micrograph obtained by Reuters August 1, 2014. Frederick Murphy/CDC/Handout/Reuters

A patient at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center is being tested for the deadly Ebola virus, the local CBS affiliate reported. 

The patient being tested is at low risk for the virus, said Gil Chavez, deputy director for the Center for Infectious Diseases and State Epidemiologist at the California Department of Public Health.

There are no confirmed cases of ebola in the state of California, the California Department of Public Health said in a statement yesterday.

The patient remains in isolation. Being able to isolate infected individuals quickly is one of two key ways to stop the spread of infectious diseases, according to Dr. James Watt, the Chief of the Division of Communicable Disease Control for the Center for Infectious Diseases. Almost all hospitals in California have negative pressure rooms, which are used to isolate the potentially infected, Chavez said. The other component of a robust response to possible outbreaks, Watt said, is the ability of public health officials quickly to notify those who recently came into contact with infected individuals. "That's a capacity our local health departments across California have and routinely use," Watt said.

Specimens of the patient's blood were shipped to the CDC in Atlanta yesterday, and doctors in Sacramento expect to receive results in approximately three days.

 It is "unlikely that ebola poses a threat to Californians at this time,"  Chavez said.

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