MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A teenager taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital to be screened for Ebola after becoming ill early Sunday morning has tested negative.
Monday morning, Miami Beach tweeted out “Test performed by DOH lab was negative 4 Ebola. Specimen being sent 2 CDC 4 final test as established by protocol.”
Later the state’s Division of Emergency Management sent out a statement.
“Today, the Joint Information Center announced that the Miami patient who was tested for Ebola on Sunday tested negative in a preliminary test that was conducted by the Florida Department of Health’s (DOH) lab in Miami. In following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol, another sample from the patient was sent to the CDC’s Atlanta lab for confirmation of this negative result. The CDC’s results are expected on Wednesday.”
Under Gov. Rick Scott’s direction, the DOH requested 30 additional Ebola testing kits from the CDC and 100 units of additional high-level personal protective equipment.
Medical experts said Sunday it was highly unlikely the teen, who was visiting Miami Beach from West Africa, had Ebola but they didn’t want to take any chances.
“We’d rather overkill and go above and beyond than to not do enough and to end up having a more serious situation,” said Miami Fire Rescue Captain Ignatius Carroll.
It was just before 4:00 p.m. Sunday when Miami Fire Rescue got a call from Miami Beach Fire Rescue and asked to stand by with their hazardous materials team for a possible decontamination operation.
“Miami Beach responded to an incident involving a teenager that may have had some type of illness or virus but they weren’t sure,” said Carroll. “Rescuers were in a de-con suits to protect them and then they transported this teenager (from Mt. Sinai Medical Center) to Jackson Memorial’s Holtz Children’s to receive further treatment.”
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Sunday night he requested an Ebola test and released a statement:
“This morning I was briefed on actions that our local health officials had taken in a specific case here in Miami-Dade County. Due to patient privacy rules, the County is limited in what information we can provide. However, our residents and visitors should rest assured that despite the fact that this patient who was visiting our area did not meet the test criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control, and that it is unlikely that they have Ebola, out of an abundance of caution I requested that the test still be conducted. Again, at this time, we have no reason to believe that this patient is infected with the virus. My administration will continue to monitor the situation.”
Jackson Memorial Hospital is the hospital in Miami-Dade County equipped to handle patients with potential Ebola symptoms.
Hospital officials said the facility has been working closely with the Health Department, the Centers for Disease Control and conducting practice drills in case a patient with Ebola came through its doors.
The hospital’s Corporate Director of Media Relations and Internal Communications, Edwin L. O’Dell, released a statement Sunday afternoon:
“Jackson has been publicly forthcoming in asserting our confidence and readiness, and that we have established and tested protocols to deal with infectious diseases in general and with Ebola in specific. We will do everything to ensure safety and treatment for all of our patients. .”
Ebola is a deadly disease that has gripped much of West Africa over the past few months.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Symptoms of Ebola include
- Fever (greater than 101.5°F)
- Severe headache
- Muscle pain
- Abdominal (stomach) pain
- Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.
Recovery from Ebola depends on good supportive clinical care and the patient’s immune response. People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years.