A suspected Ebola patient in Boston was cleared this week as fears of the disease have begun to rise in the U.S. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center officials told The Boston Globe on Tuesday that the patient does not have the Ebola virus and is in “good condition.”
The patient, who had been to Liberia, had come into the Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates facility in the Boston suburb of Braintree on Sunday complaining of a headache and muscle aches. In a statement the hospital revealed that “out of an abundance of caution” the proper authorities were notified and the patient was transferred to Beth Israel. The Harvard Vanguard facility was closed briefly but re-opened on Monday.
Dr. Anita Berry, the head of the Infectious Disease Bureau of the Boston Public Health Commission told The Boston Globe that the patient was at “very low risk” of having Ebola according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) risk assessments. Barry stated that Bostonians shouldn’t be too worried about Ebola, pointing out that Americans are at much greater risk from the flu.
The Ebola scare in Boston was heightened on Monday when a hazmat crew boarded an Emirates airplane at Boston’s Logan Airport to remove five people with flu-like symptoms. According to The Boston Globe none of the patients had been to West Africa and were later declared Ebola-free.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) October 14, 2014
Fears about the Ebola outbreak have grown in the U.S. over the past few days following the diagnosis of a Dallas healthcare worker with the disease. The nurse was infected while treating Eric Duncan, a Liberian who died of Ebola last week. Duncan had traveled from Liberia to the U.S. in mid-September and became the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the current Ebola outbreak an international public health emergency, prompting a coordinated effort to contain it. According to WHO statistics over 4,000 people – most in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea – have died during the current outbreak, making this the worst Ebola outbreak in history.