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Primary Children's Patient With Ebola-Like Symptoms Likely Doesn't Have Virus

Whittney Evans

Local health officials say it’s highly unlikely that a person admitted to Primary Children’s hospital yesterday with Ebola-like symptoms actually has the virus. Although medical professionals used the case as an opportunity to make sure they’re prepared to handle potential Ebola cases.

Primary Children’s Hospital Epidemiologist Andrew Pavia isn’t providing any information about the patient who was admitted on Wednesday, but he says the combination of this person’s recent travel history and symptoms initially gave physicians cause for concern. 

“Over the next few hours, we got additional information and an alternative diagnoses became clear and it became clear to us that the possibility of Ebola infection was extremely remote,” Pavia says.

Pavia says Utah hospitals have been anticipating the possibility that a patient presenting Ebola-like symptoms could show up at any time.

“This was a good test of our preparedness and a good test of the system and it worked,” Pavia says. “We always learn things in a setting like this but it really increased our confidence that we’re able to handle this situation.”

Doctors are still waiting to confirm with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that this patient does not have the virus, but they stressed again it’s highly unlikely.

Officials with the CDC have so far confirmed only one U-S case of Ebola in Dallas.

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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