A patient who was transferred from an urgent-care clinic in Miami to a local hospital with Ebola-like symptoms early Saturday afternoon was found not to be at risk for the deadly virus, according to state health officials.
“In Miami-Dade County today (Saturday), CDC guidelines were utilized to determine that an individual was not at risk for Ebola. The individual is receiving care at a local hospital,” Florida’s Joint Information Center said in a statement to the Miami Herald.
The patient, who was not identified because of privacy, had visited the Baptist Health Medical Plaza at Brickell and exhibited symptons that prompted the staff to follow federal protocol set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Baptist Health spokeswoman Georgina Gonzalez-Robiou.
“We followed the CDC protocols and transferred the patient out,” she said. She said Baptist medical staff contacted 9-1-1, and the patient was taken by ambulance to an undisclosed hospital.
Saturday marks the third time in the past month that a South Florida patient has gotten extra attention from local medical professionals. None has tested positive for Ebola.
The current epidemic has claimed more than 4,000 lives, making it the largest Ebola outbreak in history. Three West African countries have suffered the most — Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea as medical workers strive to keep the virus from spreading. The virus spreads through a sick person’s bodily fluids.
On Wednesday, the first person in the United States to be diagnosed with Ebola died. Thomas Eric Duncan, who had traveled to Liberia, was hospitalized after returning to his home in Dallas.
Major U.S. airports are increasing efforts to keep Ebola out of North America. On Saturday, New York’s Kennedy International Airport started taking temperatures of passengers arriving from three West African countries. Four other airports, New Jersey’s Newark Liberty, Washington Dulles, Chicago O’Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, will soon start screenings.
About 150 people travel daily from or through Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea to the U.S., according to customs officials. About 95 percent of them land first at one of these five airports. The airports all have quarantine areas ready.
Public health workers use no-touch thermometers to take passengers’ temperatures. Those with a fever are interviewed to see if they’ve been to an area with Ebola.
Information from The Associated Press was used for this report.