Boston Patient Likely Does Not Have Ebola

A patient being evaluated at a Boston hospital with Ebola-like symptoms likely does not have the deadly virus, officials said late Sunday.

Earlier in the day, Harvard Vanguard Medical Center in Braintree was evacuated after a man who had recently traveled to Liberia arrived at the clinic complaining of a headache and muscle aches. He was isolated and taken by ambulance to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

“After discussions with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the Boston Public Health Commission and its partners have determined that the patient being evaluated at BIDMC does not meet criteria to be considered someone at high risk for Ebola,” city health officials said in a statement. “The BPHC will continue to monitor this situation.”

The patient will remain in isolation, hospital officials said.

“After our initial evaluation, this patient does not appear to meet CDC criteria to be considered someone at high risk for Ebola and the likelihood of Ebola Virus Disease is extremely low,” Beth Israel said in a statement. “The hospital remains open for all normal clinical operations and visits.”

Staff at the Braintree clinic  had instructed the man to return to his vehicle and wait for an ambulance to arrive after he complained of symptoms, according to Brewster Ambulance Service.

“Out of an abundance of caution we immediately notified authorities and the patient was securely removed from the building and put into an ambulance now headed to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,” Harvard Vanguard Chief of Infectious Disease Ben Kruskal said.

Beth Israel officials said on Sunday that they would be doing an assessment of the patient before testing him for Ebola.

“We are taking all necessary precautions in collaboration with the city of Boston and the Department of Public Health for the potential that this is suspected Ebola,” said Dr. Kenneth Sands, chief quality officer at Beth Israel. “In the meantime, we are pulling up protocols that we have prepared for, drilled for, that our staff are aware of.”

The man will be in a special unit designed to keep other patients and staff safe, Sands said.

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Dan Mullin is an active writer and editor for the Pluto Daily who covered the 2014 Ebola Outbreak. Mullin attended the Wake Forest School of Medicine before leaving to pursue his lifelong science goal of allowing humans to live forever via a computer/brain transfer.