Man Tested for Ebola at East Harlem Hospital Unlikely to Have Virus

By Natalie MusumeciMurray Weiss and Ben Fractenberg  on August 4, 2014 5:10pm  | Updated on August 4, 2014 6:34pm

 A man who had recently traveled to West Africa was tested at Mt. Sinai Hospital for the Ebola virus Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, sources said.
A man who had recently traveled to West Africa was tested at Mt. Sinai Hospital for the Ebola virus Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, sources said.
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MANHATTAN — A man tested for the Ebola virus at Mount Sinai Hospital Monday is unlikely to have the disease, city health and hospital officials said.

“After consultation with CDC and Mount Sinai, the Health Department has concluded that the patient is unlikely to have Ebola. Specimens are being tested for common causes of illness and to definitively exclude Ebola,” officials said.

The patient, who returned last month from West Africa, came to the East Harlem center's emergency room early Monday morning complaining of high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms, spokeswoman Johanna Younghams said.

The hospital said the man had been placed in "strict isolation" within seven minutes of entering the building and underwent various medical tests to determine the cause of his symptoms.

"All necessary steps are being taken to ensure the safety of all patients, visitors and staff. We will continue to work closely with federal, state and city health officials to address and monitor this case, keep the community informed and provide the best quality care to all of our patients," according to the hospital statement.

The patient returned from West Africa in July, Mount Sinai President Dr. David Reich said during a Monday evening press conference. The man did not have any of the known risk factors to be associated with the virus, a source said.

New Yorkers who are worried about contracting the disease should rest assured that the risk factor is minimal — even to those who came in contact with the patient.

"There's no risk to them from casual contact," Reich said.

The deadly Ebola epidemic has killed 887 people in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia in recent weeks, according to the World Health Organization.

 Mount Sinai Hospital president David Reich and chief medical officer Jeremy Boal (l-r) told reporters they did not think a man who was admitted to the hospital early Monday morning with Ebola virus-like symptoms was likely to have the disease, Aug. 4, 2014.
Mount Sinai Hospital president David Reich and chief medical officer Jeremy Boal (l-r) told reporters they did not think a man who was admitted to the hospital early Monday morning with Ebola virus-like symptoms was likely to have the disease, Aug. 4, 2014.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

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