Ebola at Primary Children’s Hospital? “Highly unlikely,” officials say

SALT LAKE CITY – A potential case of Ebola was reported at Primary Children’s Hospital Thursday. However, during a press conference, hospital staff and health officials largely ruled out the possibility of the patient actually having the disease. Precautions were nonetheless taken and officials used the opportunity to test preparations made in the wake of the Ebola outbreak in Africa.

Andrew Pavia, Primary Children’s chief of pediatric infectious diseases, said the patient had been isolated and screened for Ebola virus based on symptoms and recent travel history. In addition to experiencing Ebola-like symptoms, the patient had recently been in Africa, albeit in a country currently not impacted by the outbreak.

The possibility the patient actually has Ebola is “highly unlikely,” Pavia said. Still, a sample taken from the patient has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control for analysis. Pavia didn’t know when the CDC may get back to the hospital with the test results.

We don’t think this is a case of Ebola … the possibility is very low,” Pavia said.

Pavia said the admission of the patient gave the hospital a chance to test its response to a possible Ebola case. It is something the hospital staff and area health officials have been preparing for since summer.

“This was a good test of the system, and it worked,” Pavia said.

During the press conference, reporters asked if the announcement of a potential Ebola case hadn’t caused undue panic. Pavia said the press conference was being held to help dispel rumors that had been circulating about the incident, as well as to show the public their health institutions are ready and prepared.

“There should be no reason to panic,” Pavia said.

Dr. Dagmar Vitek, deputy director and medical officer at the Salt Lake County Health Department, said Utah hospitals and health departments have been preparing to deal with Ebola and other infectious diseases for years.

“We are ready,” she said. “There will be very little danger to anybody.”

During the press conference, doctors said Ebola wasn’t likely to be a major issue in the United States, but they are nonetheless prepared.

I sure hope the public is listening to the main message here: We are prepared,” Vitek said.

According to the CDC website, Ebola spreads through direct contact with bodily fluids, contaminated objects and infected animals.

“Ebola is not spread through the air or by water or, in general, food,” the CDC website says.

Symptoms of Ebola can include fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising).

“Symptoms may appear anywhere from (two) to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is (eight) to 10 days,” according to the CDC website.

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Twitter: @MoriKessler

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6 Comments

  • Mom October 2, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Why these people are still visiting Africa with all this Ebola problem there anyways? Just don’t let them cross the border!

  • DAVE RABBITT October 2, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Statistics show that 8 out of 10 people would choose the new iPhone 6 over an Ebola vaccine. – Both now, come with a free U2 album.

  • Bobber October 2, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Why do all the worst diseases come out of Africa? That photo actually looks like a worm?

  • Bobber October 2, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Quarantine the whole continent pls. And if the person went to Africa they probly do have Ebola. But I’ve stocked up on ammo, so I’m ready!!!

  • Brian October 3, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Everything about the US “response” to Ebola reminds me of the scriptures that talk about the haughty being laid low and humbled in the last days (and there are many, many such scriptures). So arrogant and so proud. We’ve been warned many times in many ways, including fairly recently: “Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.” Plagues figure prominently in those foretold calamities. As do economic crashes. I just finished reading “The Harbinger”, which does a good job of summing up where we are, and where we’re heading. Despite how it looks, it is God’s love and mercy, giving us a chance to repent and humble ourselves. In the end, we will be humble, we can just do it the hard way, or the much less hard way…

  • Mr Clean October 3, 2014 at 9:14 am

    This is what happens when move in come to town. I would like to share 1 advice to all you readers. Take some Mr. clean from the bottle poor it into a container. As directed on the safety sheet. Wash your self until the filth is gone. For a couple of you bloggers be extra careful as for koolaid and boomers to wash until all their filth is gone. There would be. Nothing left but a pile of waiste smelling like pine. Ok well that would be fine. Getter done my little home boys

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