California has no confirmed Ebola cases at present, but a low-risk person is being tested and examined for utmost caution at a Sacramento hospital, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) said in a statement on Tuesday, Aug. 19.
The person is now confined at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospital.
“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,” Stephen M. Parodi, MD, who is an infectious disease specialist and Hospital Operations director at Kaiser's, said in a statement.
The CDPH also said that no high-risk persons are admitted to hospitals in California; based on the criteria of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The risk of spread of the deadly disease in California is low.
The health officials said their department is working closely with nationwide health care providers and local health departments to help identify persons who traveled to Ebola-stricken countries. They are also instructing health providers to obey protocols set by the federal CDC in diagnosing and treating these patients.
According to the CDPH statement, people who come from the affected places and who may be at high risk for the disease should go into isolation, and their blood should be sent for testing at CDC. The CDPH teams up with local health agencies and hospitals to coordinate for a proper specimen shipment as well as confirmatory testing for Ebola virus.
Both local and state public health authorities in California are in close monitoring of the situation and are taking steps to ensure the safety of its residents.
“Our advanced health care system has appropriate protocols in place to prevent the spread of this often deadly disease,” the CDPH said.
The health department advised that persons who have travelled to affected countries and have developed fever in three weeks of returning home should contact their health care provider at once and inform the provider of their travel history.
They assured that patients suspected of having Ebola virus can be managed safely in a hospital in California after the recommended procedures on isolation and infection control. The local health department, in consultation with the CDPH, will carefully examine suspected patients.
Two first cases of Ebola in the U.S. were reported earlier this month. One of them is Dr. Kent Brantly, an American doctor-missionary in Liberia working for Samaritan’s Purse, who issued a statement saying he is recovering at his isolation room in Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. The other is Nancy Writebol, a nurse assistant of the U.S. mission group SIM. Both being given the experimental drug ZMapp to treat the disease.
Ebola is a deadly and infectious disease that has killed over a thousand people this year in West Africa and with around 2,000 new cases being confirmed, based on various sources. Symptoms include headache, fever, weakness, stomach pain, diarrhea, abnormal bleeding, vomiting, and joint and muscle pains.