The man who went to the Mount Sinai Hospital emergency room Monday with a high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms after recently traveling to a West African country where cases of Ebola have been reported does not have the deadly virus, federal and local authorities said Wednesday.
The sick man was quickly taken to an isolation room at Mount Sinai pending test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which came back negative for Ebola. Hospital officials say the patient remained isolated in stable condition and is in good spirits.
Mount Sinai officials say the hospital has seen no other patients with similar symptoms who have also traveled to West Africa recently.
The CDC has said three Americans in the United States were tested for Ebola since the West African outbreak erupted this year; those results were also negative.
Officials at U.S. airports are watching travelers from Africa for flu-like symptoms that could be tied to the recent Ebola outbreak.
The Ebola virus causes a hemorrhagic fever that has sickened more than 1,600 people, killing nearly 900, mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. It's spread through direct contact with bodily fluids. A person exposed to the virus can take up to 21 days to exhibit symptoms, making it possible for travelers to enter the U.S. without knowing they're infected.
The risk of Ebola spreading to the U.S. is very small, but in the unlikely case Ebola ever reached New York City, health officials say hospitals are prepared.
"We are prepared, to the best of our knowledge, for any patient who comes here who's suspected of Ebola virus," Dr. Ross Wilson, who is in charge of New York City's 11 hospital emergency rooms, told NBC 4 New York last week.