Mass General Is Evaluating a Possible Ebola Case
UPDATED 1 p.m. Dec. 3:
Mass General has released a statement that the initial test for Ebola on the patient at Mass General has returned negative. The patient has, however, tested positive for malaria.
Here is the entire statement in full:
Dec. 3, 2014: Statement from MGH at 12:45 p.m.
The initial test for Ebola on the patient admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital yesterday with suspected Ebola virus disease is negative. The patient has, however, tested positive for malaria. Further diagnostic testing is needed to definitively rule out Ebola virus disease and other diagnoses.
The patient had been undergoing routine monitoring by the Boston Public Health Commission after previously working in Liberia in a non-medical capacity. In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, and out of an abundance of caution for our patients, their families and our staff, the hospital is continuing to follow the highest possible safety precautions. The patient is in good spirits and remains in a specially prepared isolated area within the hospital.
The patient has given Mass General consent to release the information above.
UPDATED 10:25 p.m.:
Massachusetts General Hospital held a press conference Tuesday night, where Dr. Paul Biddinger said that the hospital is evaluating a patient who meets the CDC’s criteria for a suspected Ebola case. In an effort to quell public panic, he stressed that “the symptoms are consistent with a wide range of diseases.”
Biddinger would not comment on any of the patient’s details, background, or recent travel, but he did say that the patient is in stable condition. “[The patient] has been hospitalized and remains in our hospital this evening,” he said. “The patient is stable and in good spirits and undergoing clinical evaluation and care.”
Test results will “come back in a staggered fashion,” Biddinger said, because the complexity of the Ebola virus “takes several days for diagnosis.” The first test could come back as early as Wednesday.
On its website and via a Tweet on Tuesday evening, Massachusetts General Hospital announced that there is “a suspected Ebola Virus Disease patient” being evaluated on site.
— MassGeneral News (@MassGeneralNews) December 3, 2014
At this time, it is important to note that there are no confirmed Ebola cases in Boston, and this is the hospital announcing an evaluation of a patient only. The City of Boston, healthcare workers, and six area hospitals including Mass General have been preparing for situations like this for some time. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says that all six hospitals in the group have the capability “to screen, identify, and isolate any possible Ebola cases.”
Here is the statement in full:
Dec. 2, 2014: Memo to Staff
Suspect Ebola Virus Disease Patient at the MGH
At 2 p.m. today while undergoing routine monitoring by the Boston Public Health Commission, an individual, determined to be a person under investigation for Ebola virus disease, was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital for evaluation. As you know, the MGH has spent the past several months preparing in the event we should have a patient with suspected Ebola come to the hospital. The individual is now in a specially prepared area within the hospital. Diagnostic testing is under way. Again, a diagnosis of Ebola has not been confirmed.
As always, our focus is the health and safety of our patients, their families and our staff members. We want to reassure you that the hospital is safe. Even though it is unconfirmed that the individual has the Ebola virus, we are taking the actions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a precaution. We will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available.