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Miami hospital patient tests negative for Ebola virus

A Miami hospital patient showing symptoms of Ebola was tested for the deadly virus last week, but the results were negative, Miami-Dade health officials said Monday.

The patient, who was not identified, had been admitted to the county-owned Jackson Health System last week, said Matthew Pinzur, a Jackson spokesman, who declined to describe the patient’s symptoms.

“Last week, a Jackson Health System patient tested negative for the Ebola virus,’’ Pinzur said in a written statement. “The patient had shown some symptoms associated with the disease and was tested in an abundance of caution. All of our community’s precautionary measures were taken, multiple agencies worked effectively in partnership, and we demonstrated that we are ready in the unlikely event that this disease is detected in Miami-Dade County.’’

CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said in a conference call with reporters Monday there was a patient considered “at low risk for Ebola’’' who was tested in Miami, but the results came back negative.

The lab specimen is being sent to CDC to confirm the finding, Skinner said, and the Florida Department of Health will release that information.

WTVJ NBC-6, a Miami television station, had reported Monday that a potential case of Ebola was being treated at a Miami-area hospital, citing officials with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who would have been contacted as part of the response protocol.

According to the CDC, symptoms of Ebola typically include a fever greater than 101.5 degrees, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and lack of appetite.

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to the virus, although 8-10 days is most common, according to the CDC.

Tampa Bay Times staff writer Charlotte Sutton contributed to this report.

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