Child in Florida with Ebola?

UPDATE!! Teen tested negative for Ebola!

Channel 7, WSVN News, and CBS Miami News, both based in South Florida, are reporting that a West African boy has been hospitalized for a possible case of the Ebola virus. The boy, who may have been visiting South Florida and is said to be “under 18,” traveled from West Africa to the South Florida area, and came down with symptoms resembling the flu Sunday morning. He was admitted to Mount Sinai Health Center in Miami at about 3 am on Monday morning, and was transferred to Holtz Children’s Hospital, near Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, about twelve hours later.

Officials think that it is unlikely that the boy has the Ebola virus, Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine requested that the boy be tested as a precaution. Jackson Memorial Hospital has recently been in the news speaking about how they have prepared for cases of Ebola should they arrive in the South, Florida area. The hospital also had a patient suspected of having the Ebola virus in September, however, that individual ultimately tested negative for the virus.

 Regardless of whether the boy tests positive for Ebola, the scare has been enough for officials to activate the Joint Information Center in order to ensure effective communication throughout the state. The Joint Information Center helps connect agencies via Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) should an emergency event occur in the Florida area. Originally established for terrorist situations, the JIC can help agencies organize in emergency situations.

 Symptoms of Ebola include:

  • Fever higher than 101.5% Fahrenheit 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Muscle pain and weakness 
  • Diarrhea and vomiting 
  • Severe headache
  • Hemorrhage or bleeding 

  • Some of these symptoms happen in later stages of the disease. Incubation time is two to twenty-one days after exposure, but officials are reporting average time from exposure to symptoms is eight to ten days. The World Health Organization reports the death rate from the Zaire strain of Ebola is approximately 50%.