SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – A Sacramento hospital treating a patient who may have been exposed to the deadly Ebola virus is taking extra precautions.

Although the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center has released scant details about the patient, officials said the patient is being kept in isolation. The patient has not been identified, but officials confirm the person has submitted blood samples for testing.

Those samples are being examined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine whether the Ebola virus is present. It is likely to take several days for the test results to come back.

The CDC tells KPIX 5’s  Andria Borba they’ve received 60 reports of potential exposure since the outbreak began, but only received 10 actual samples to test.  A similar incident occurred in New York, but the tests turned out negative.

For now, Kaiser officials said they are taking precautions by keeping the patient in a specially equipped negative pressure room.

Staffers that treat the patient are also using special protective gear.

State health officials said there are no confirmed Ebola cases in California and low-risk patients like the one in Sacramento may be tested out of an abundance of caution.

An outbreak of the Ebola virus has killed more than 1,200 people in West Africa according to the World Health Organization. The outbreak began in Guinea and spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Anyone sick or exposed to those who are sick have faced quarantines and travel restrictions, sometimes extending across an entire village or county.

CBS NEWS:  Complete Ebola Coverage 


FULL STATEMENT: Dr. Stephen M. Parodi, Infectious Diseases Specialist, Director of Hospital Operations, Kaiser Permanente Northern California
“We are working with the Sacramento County Division of Public Health regarding a patient admitted to the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be testing blood samples to rule out the presence of the virus.
In order to protect our patients, staff and physicians, even though infection with the virus is unconfirmed, we are taking the actions recommended by the CDC as a precaution, just as we do for other patients with a suspected infectious disease.  This includes isolation of the patient in a specially equipped negative pressure room and the use of personal protective equipment by trained staff, coordinated with infectious disease specialists. This enables the medical center to provide care in a setting that safeguards other patients and medical teams.
The safety of our members, patients and staff is our highest priority. Our physicians and infectious disease experts are working closely with local and state public health agencies to monitor developments and share information.”

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