Lufkin hospital releases patient who had traveled to Africa


Medical staff has released a patient who had flu-like symptoms and had traveled to Africa.

The patient showed no symptoms of Ebola, according to CHI St. Luke's Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Yana Ogletree.

According to a statement, the hospital took a cautious approach and followed CDC procedures in treating the patient. The CDC procedure is as followed:

  1. Identify travel and direct exposure history -Has patient lived or traveled to a country with widespread Ebola virus transmission or had contact with an individual with confirmed Ebola virus within 21 days.
  2. Identify signs and symptoms- Fever (subjective or =100.4°F or 38.0°C) or any Ebola-compatible symptoms: fatigue, headache, weakness, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or hemorrhage.
  3. Isolate patient immediately: Avoid unnecessary direct contact-Place patient in private room or area.
  4. Inform health department and prepare for safe transport-Arrangements for safe transport to accepting facility designated by public health officials.

Hospital staff went into action after the patient meet the first two steps. As a result, the patient was then immediately isolated from other patients in the emergency room. Ogletree said the patient was never admitted to the hospital and was only seen in the ER  before being released Sunday night.

"We do not have any patients who have tested positive for Ebola in the ER or hospital," Ogletree said.

Had the patient tested positive for Ebola step four would have been taken. Olgetree said in that case the patient would have been transported to a Houston hospital. 

Privacy laws prevents hospital staff from releasing more information.

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