HONOLULU, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- A possible Ebola virus case has surfaced in Hawaii, where a patient is in isolation and undergoing tests, the Hawaii Health Department said.
"We are early in the investigation of a patient, very, very early, who we're investigating that might have Ebola. It's very possible that they do and they have Ebola. I think it's also more likely that they have another condition that presents with similar symptoms," said Dr. Melissa Viray, deputy state epidemiologist told KHON-TV, Honolulu. She added the public need not be concerned, reinforcing that the situation remains only a possible case of the Ebola virus.
Officials did not identify the patient, or whether he or she traveled from West Africa, where Ebola virus cases are concentrated, but said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with the state health department. They added health personnel at Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu wear protective clothing when entering the patient's room.
A message sent to hospital employees Wednesday said the hospital is "evaluating a patient for possible symptoms that may be consistent with Ebola."
Joan Craft of the Hawaii Nurses Assn. told KHON-TV that "Blood and fluid procedures are safe, but there are a lot of contagious things you can come in contact with. Ebola is very frightening, but procedures are safe, and we just want to make sure everyone knows that."