Second test confirms Duke patient free of Ebola
Posted November 5, 2014
Updated November 6, 2014
Durham, N.C. — State public health officials said Wednesday evening that a second test on a Duke University Hospital patient who developed a fever after returning from Liberia has come back negative for Ebola.
The person, whose name, age, race or gender have not been released, has been quarantined at the Durham hospital since Sunday night after arriving to Person County, where family members live.
An initial test on Monday showed he or she had no symptoms of the virus, but because of how it develops, a second test 72 hours later was necessary, Dr. Megan Davies, state epidemiologist with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday.
The patient has been discharged, health officials said Wednesday, and the quarantine of three family members at their home in Timberlake has been lifted.
The person will continue to be monitored by local public health officials until the 21-day period in which symptoms of Ebola could appear.
"We are obviously very pleased that the patient's confirmatory test was negative for Ebola," Aldona Wos, secretary for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement. "I am extremely pleased with the collaboration between the state, federal and local governments and Duke University Hospital."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that Ebola is contagious only after the onset of symptoms and spreads through direct, unprotected contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.
It is not spread through air, water, food or by being near an infected person.