Suspected Ebola patient in California tests negative for virus

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 30, 2015 1:05 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - A California hospital patient who was suspected of contracting Ebola after traveling in West Africa and exhibiting symptoms of the disease has tested negative for infection with the deadly virus, public health and hospital officials said on Friday.

The negative test result was disclosed a day after the individual was transferred to a special isolation unit at the University of California-Davis Medical Center, a designated "priority hospital" for potential Ebola cases, from another hospital in Sacramento, the state capital.

It was not immediately clear whether the patient had been discharged after being cleared.

But Laura McCasland, a spokeswoman for the Sacramento County Department of Public Health, which performed the tests in its own laboratory, said the results were conclusive.

"They do not have Ebola," she said of the patient. No information about the individual's identity or background, not even gender, has been released.

The episode came five months after another individual in the same city was admitted to South Sacramento Medical Center in August as a potential Ebola patient and tested negative days later.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Additional reporting and writing by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Sandra Maler)