Officials from the University of Kansas Hospital (KU Med) announced on May 29 that they are treating a man who came down with a fever after traveling to Sierra Leone in West Africa.
According to the hospital, the patient has a low risk of Ebola infection and his stay in the medical facility is for precautionary measures.
"The patient is extremely low risk," said Dr. Lee Norman, the chief medical officer from KU Med. "It's just the fever that tipped the balance."
According to Norman, the 30-something patient from Kansas City traveled to Sierra Leone to visit relatives. He said the man did not have a fever during his trip, but developed one after arriving to the United States.
The man went to the emergency room and was tested for Ebola, malaria and other infectious diseases.
"He's not a medical care worker, he's not in contact with any known cases of anybody infected with the Ebola virus and doesn't have anything other than his travel history there to suggest that he could have potentially Ebola," Norman explained.
The results of the test can take up to 48 hours, but Norman said they could be released as early as Saturday morning.
"We recognize that the management of these cases that could be Ebola generates a fair amount of anxiety and a fair amount of concern," Norman said.
The man was reported to be "doing fine," despite still having fever. KU Med is now looking into the health of other with whom people the patient might have been in close contact.
The Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a severe and potentially fatal illness, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The virus is often transferred from wild animals to people and spreads in human populations through fluids in human-to-human contact.
While the average rate of fatality caused by EVD is around 50 percent, past outbreaks have shown death rates between 25 to 90 percent.
Since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in March 2014, more than 11,000 people died because of complications from the disease in West Africa.
Liberia recorded the highest number of deaths from Ebola. Earlier this month, the WHO declared the country to be Ebola-free.
Photo: NIAID | Flickr