Updated 11:34 AM EST, Wed, Jan 19, 2022

Ebola Virus Spreading in U.S.? New York Doctors Treat Patient for Virus' Symptoms

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A hospital in New York City is reportedly treating a patient recently returned from West Africa who could possibly be infected with Ebola. The patient was admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital early Monday, and was suffering from "a high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms," according to hospital officials. 

ABC News is reporting that the patient is isolated and is currently undergoing a series of diagnostic tests. The hospital released this statement:

"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 ABC News' chief health and medical editor, Dr. Richard Besser, the patient's reported symptoms are not necessarily indicative of an Ebola infection. Nevertheless, the hospital is still adhering to the relevant protocols released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week. 

Besser stated, "Many things cause fever and gastrointestinal symptoms. The steps they are taking are wise given the travel history, but nothing about the symptoms is specific to Ebola." 

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa this year has reached epidemic proportions with 1,603 people reportedly infected overall. The World Health Organization has tallied the number of related deaths in West Africa at 887, and that included victims in the countries of Liberia, Nigeria, Guinea and Sierra Leone. 

Two American aid workers working in West Africa contracted Ebola this year. One has already been been transported to Emory hospital in Georgia for further treatment, and the second is expected to arrive there on Tuesday. 

The first aid worker to arrive at Emory, Dr. Brantly, is receiving an experimental serum to treat the virus. While it is still early, reports are indicating that her condition has improved slightly. 

There is currently no known cure or vaccine for Ebola, and part of the reason is that the unpredictability of outbreaks and the strict lab requirements necessary to analyze the virus, make opportunities for innovation rare. 

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