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Health Officials Reiterate NYC Patient is Unlikely to Have Ebola

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TWC News: Health Officials Reiterate NYC Patient is Unlikely to Have Ebola
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The city Health Department says a patient at Mount Sinai being tested for Ebola is doing well while doctors remain confident he does not have the virus as they await official test results. NY1's Rocco Vertuccio filed the following report.

The city Department of Health is trying to calm any fears over a possible Ebola outbreak in the city. At Mount Sinai Hospital where a patient is being tested for the virus some are nervous even though the patient is being kept in isolation.

"I don't think we should have him in such a crowded place," said one New Yorker.

"Very scary because I don't know what's going on they didn't inform us of anything," said another New Yorker.

The patient was admitted early Monday morning with a high fever and gastrointestinal problems, two symptoms of Ebola. The man had just returned from West Africa. Almost 900 people in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have died from the virus.

Doctors say the man is doing well and are confident he has a common illness, not Ebola. They also point out the virus is difficult to transmit. It's spread through the blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person.

"Even though they have traveled to an area where Ebola has been transmitted you still need to be exposed either to a person or in rare instances an animal that had Ebola," said Dr. Jay Varma of the New York City Department of Health.

This is not the first Ebola scare in the city. Recently, a patient at Bellevue who returned from West Africa was tested for his symptoms. That was false alarm. The health department says all hospitals in the city are prepared and taking precautions just in case. That includes doctors asking patients with symptoms if they recently traveled to West Africa.

"We take a very cautious approach and consider on a case by case basis whether they need to be evaluated," Dr. Varma said.

The DOH points out there are no Ebola cases right now in the city and the only U.S. cases are the two American health workers who are now being treated in Atlanta.

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