A patient who arrived Sunday night at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Emergency Department was questioned for the possibility of Ebola after exhibiting potential symptoms of the disease.
The patient, who told staff they had recently been in contact with someone who had traveled from West Africa, was questioned as part of UMMC’s screening process in the ED’s triage area, said Dr. Alan Jones, professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine. “The patient was isolated appropriately, and we were in contact with the Department of Health and our hospital infection control epidemiologist.
“After talking to the patient about the symptoms and the contact, it was determined that it was a very, very low risk situation, and that it was not necessary to isolate the patient or test for Ebola. The patient was obviously well enough to go home, and the patient was discharged,” Jones said.
Jones said it likely won’t be the last time a patient will be closely screened after coming to the Emergency Department with some of the symptoms experienced by Ebola patients. “We have set the sensitivity of the screening process at such a high level,” he said. “We will possibly have more of (these cases) to ensure that we are doing the very best we can not to miss anyone.”
Said Jones: “It should be emphasized that Ebola is not very infectious, and that the possibility of a case in Jackson is remote.”