The deadly Ebola virus, which was taken down just a notch on Thursday by the announcement that both Americans infected while working in Africa and treated in Atlanta have recovered and been released, remains a source of dozens of alarms and alerts across the U.S. according to a report on the work of the Centers for Disease Control.
The Advisory Board Company reported that the federal agency’s first alert in recent months came at the Carolinas Medical Center in July when a patient traveling from West Africa came down with Ebola-like symptoms, but then later was deemed Ebola-free.
“Since then, hospitals in 27 states have alerted CDC of possible cases,” the report on Thursday said. It explained that of the 68 “scares,” 58 were found to be “false alarms,” seven involved blood samples and were found to be negative for the virus, and three more blood samples were tested, but the results still are pending.
Overseas, however, it’s another story.
There, World Health Organization reported, at least 2,240 people have been infected since March 2014, and 1,229 have died.
Those cases all have been in Guinea, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the western Africa region where the two Americans were working when they were infected.
According to USA Today, doctors on Thursday at Altanta’s Emory University Hospital confirmed Nancy Writebol, of SIM USA, was released on Tuesday, and Dr. Kent Brantly, who was working with Samaritan’s Purse in Africa, was released Thursday.
Neither patient is thought to be contagious and they pose no threat to others, after having been given experimental treatments to fight the Ebola virus, officials said.
At a news conference, Brantly said, “God saved my life.”
Both Brantly and Writebol were flown in a special jet from Africa earlier this month for treatment in Atlanta.
Officials said, “After a rigorous course of treatment and testing, the Emory health care team has determined that both patients have recovered from the Ebola virus and can return to their families and community without concern for spreading this infection to others.”
They both got the experimental ZMapp drug, which had not been tested in humans.
Medical experts, therefore, were unable to confirm that ZMapp is effective fighting Ebola. Some suggested that the high-level care the patients received put them in the minority percentage of those infected who do survive.
According to a daily briefing on Ebola, one of the pending cases “involves a patient at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Sacramento who has been isolated in a negative pressure room while officials await blood test results.”
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the California patient is remaining anonymous, but did return from the West African region where problems have developed.
Officials “refused to reveal the patient’s gender, age, which West African country he or she had traveled to and how the exposure may have happened, citing federal health privacy laws,” the report said.
“But they said the patient, who is being kept in isolation at Kaiser Permanente’s South Sacramento Medical Center, developed symptoms during the 21-day period it takes the deadly disease to incubate after returning from Africa, warranting being tested.”
“Another patient at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque has been isolated after suffering Ebola-like symptoms following a trip to Sierra Leone,” the briefing said. That patient was identified only as a 30-year-old woman.
There were no immediately details available on the third remaining suspected case.
The CDC, before launching an investigation of suspected Ebola, determines that the patient has recently been in circumstances that could have resulted in exposure.
“If somebody had traveled to Guinea and came back and had a fever and has never been to a place where Ebola is transmitted, there’s no reason to suspect there’s Ebola just because Ebola is circulating in Guinea,” says Kristen Nordlund, a spokeswoman for the agency.
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