Hospital Released Ebola Patient Before Diagnosis

A hospital official said the man who tested positive for Ebola appeared at a Dallas hospital complaining of illness but was released before returning later as his condition worsened.

Dr. Edward Goodman, epidemiologist at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, said the man first arrived at the hospital late Thursday or early Friday.

"The patient originally presented at the hospital after 10 p.m. on Thursday, September 25. At that time, the patient presented with low grade fever and abdominal pain. His condition did not warrant admission. He also was not exhibiting symptoms specific to Ebola," the hospital said in statement Wednesday. "The patient returned via ambulance on Sunday, September 28 at which time EMS had already identified potential need for isolation. The hospital followed all suggested CDC protocols at that time."

Goodman said during a news conference Tuesday that it wasn't until the man reappeared Sunday that they discovered that he had been in West Africa. The virus has killed more than 3,000 people across West Africa and infected a handful of Americans who have traveled there.

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said the CDC emphasizes isolating anyone with Ebola-like symptoms who has been in West Africa within 21 days.

"That’s something we’ll be looking at with the hospital and others," Frieden said.

State health officials describe the man as seriously ill, but Goodman said he's communicating with staff.

Goodman said the man is being treated in a segregated part of the hospital away from other patients.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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