Washington Hospitals Admit Ebola Patients?

Two Washington, D.C.  area hospitals may have patients who are exhibiting symptoms of Ebola. Howard University Hospital in the District of Columbia had a patient come in on Friday night that had symptoms associated with the virus. In addition, the individual had recently traveled to Nigeria.

In addition, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, Maryland hospital just north of Washington also had a patient with flu-like symptoms, and a travel history that caused hospital officials to take extra precautions against the Ebola virus. Hospital officials at Shady Grove later ruled out Ebola as the source of infection, however, the Centers for Disease Control is still monitoring the patient in the D.C. area hospital.

Reports are filtering in that the Ebola outbreak may be dissipating outbreak areas such as Nigeria and Sierra Leone, but officials and health care facilities are still on guard for isolated cases of the deadly virus.

Ebola has killed over 3,000 people to date in West Africa. In the United States, dozens of people are still being monitored after being exposed to a man who traveled back to the U.S. from Liberia. Thomas Eric Duncan is now in critical condition in a Dallas area hospital, and approximately 115 people he came into contact with, including health care workers and family members, are under quarantine. Those infected with Ebola can take from two to twenty-one days to become symptomatic.

More recently, a 35 year old man began vomiting on a United Airlines flight from Brussels to Newark Liberty International Airport. He was rushed to the hospital in Newark, while the CDC investigated. Passengers waited for 90 minutes to be cleared to leave. It turned out the man was suffering from a treatable illness unrelated to Ebola.

Airport officials, in cooperation with the CDC, World Health Organization (WHO), and other governmental agencies have developed a more rigorous questionnaire for individuals traveling from areas of known Ebola outbreaks. In addition, quarantine areas have been set up in airports as another line of defense to assist in preventing people presenting symptoms of the virus from entering the United States.