Low-risk patient tested out of an abundance of caution
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is working with local health departments and health care providers statewide to identify patients who have traveled to countries affected by Ebola. CDPH is directing health providers to follow protocols established by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the diagnosis and treatment of these patients. People returning from the affected areas who may be at high risk for Ebola should be isolated and their blood sent to CDC for testing. Some low-risk patients, like the one from Sacramento, may be tested out of an abundance of caution. CDPH works with local health departments and hospitals to arrange for proper specimen shipment and Ebola virus confirmatory testing.
There are currently no confirmed cases of Ebola in California. There have been no patients admitted to California hospitals who are considered to be at high risk of Ebola according to CDC criteria.
If a person has travelled to an affected country and develops a fever within three weeks of their return, they should contact their health care provider and let the provider know of their travel history.
The risk of the spread of Ebola in California is low. Any patient suspected of having Ebola can be safely managed in a California hospital following recommended isolation and infection control procedures. Suspect cases of Ebola will be investigated by local health departments in consultation with CDPH.
State and local public health officials in California are monitoring the situation closely and taking steps to keep Californians safe. Our advanced health care system has appropriate protocols in place to prevent the spread of this often deadly disease.
Ebola is an infectious disease caused by the Ebola virus. Symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure and include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and abnormal bleeding. It is classified as a viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) because of the fever and abnormal bleeding. Among the VHFs, Ebola is feared because of its high mortality. There are no specific treatments but supportive therapy can be provided to address bleeding and other complications.
For more information about Ebola, please visit the CDPH home page’s "Other Hot Topics."