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Patients in California and New Mexico being tested for Ebola

One person was tested in early August at Mount Sinai hospital in New York for possible Ebola exposure after traveling from West Africa. The results returned negative.
By Aileen Graef   |   Aug. 20, 2014 at 11:31 AM  |  Updated Aug. 20, 2014 at 11:58 AM   |   Comments

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SACRAMENTO, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Two people in the U.S. -- one in California, the other in New Mexico -- have been put in isolation while they wait to be tested for Ebola after potentially being exposed to the virus.

According to the California Department of Public Health, the first unnamed patient, who is being tested at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center, is considered to be "low risk."

Dr. Stephen M. Parodi, director of operations at the hospital, said the patient is being tested with all the precautions necessary and presents no danger to other patients or hospital staff.

"They may take some samples from other fluids because Ebola can be transmitted in blood, but it also can be transmitted with saliva and sweat," Jonna Mazet, a researcher for emerging infectious diseases at UC Davis, told KXTV.

Mazet said the samples will be tested at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and doctors will have results within 48 hours.

The New York Daily News reported Tuesday that a 30-year-old teacher, who was showing flu-like symptoms, is being held in isolation in New Mexico.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the woman recently returned to the U.S. from Sierra Leone, one of the four countries in crisis from the outbreak. Doctors at the University of New Mexico Hospital said it is unlikely the patient is infected, but are keeping her in isolation until it is confirmed.

"People who have to go to UNM Hospital, should keep their appointments and go there with full confidence that they will be safe," said New Mexico Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward.

Ebola is not airborne and can only be spread through the exchange of bodily fluids.

Follow @AileenGraef and @UPI on Twitter.
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Topics: UC Davis
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