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Second test confirms Duke patient free of Ebola

Posted November 5, 2014
Updated November 6, 2014

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— 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.


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  • Mannin Black Nov 6, 2014
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    My wife is sick and with a fever. Where my media coverage! I want at least 10 news vans on my property in time for the 5 o'clock news.

  • Doug Hanthorn Nov 6, 2014
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    Actually, he just developed a fever. Nowhere does it say he developed a high fever.

  • bill0 Nov 6, 2014

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    Seem to miss the OBVIOUS distinction. Thia guy developed a high fever! Since he had been to an ebola region, he is rightfully being held away from others until he is cleared. That is way different from holding someone who has no symptoms and couldn't transmit the disease.

  • SM Nov 6, 2014

    How about you pass on the fear mongering and don't report on these things until there is something to report?

    Right now, all you're reporting is that somewhere in Duke Hospital, someone is sick, but they don't have Ebola. Which is MOST of Duke Hospital.

    So, spare us, please. Just report when the person DOES have Ebola.

  • Steven Nov 6, 2014

    Because one story about this non ebola case wasn't enough, we needed a second one.

  • Cheree Teasley Nov 6, 2014
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    Yet you didn't see this person throwing a huge public fit. They put their lives on hold for a few days out of consideration of their community. Also, you don't see ANY personal information of the patient released. This is, so far, the only incident I've seen handled with common sense, and proper considerations. Sure, they made the healthcare workers out to be heroes, but I distinctly remember reading that the first nurse requested privacy, and then reading that media outlets looked up who she was by checking a state registry of nurses (most likely calling the family of every nurse at that hospital).

    I think this whole things ha served to highlight how self serving some people can be.

  • Doug Hanthorn Nov 6, 2014
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    So true. Which public statement by these officials do you think is going to cause more fear amongst the ignorant fearful masses? a) "There is little chance these persons have contracted ebola, but we will monitor them for symptoms and at the first sign of possible infection, we will place them into quarantine." OR b) "Ebola is so scary and dangerous that even though no scientist on the planet would recommend we put these people into quarantine, we are going to put them into quarantine. Just in case. Because it's really scary. BOO!"

  • Kenny Dunn Nov 6, 2014
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    Agreed. This country could benefit from a significant public education effort on the disease.

  • jimcricket15 Nov 6, 2014

    Well that is good news. The Patient must be very relieved as well as the healthcare workers. No matter the precautions and protocols, it is dangerous work taking care of someone who has this virus.

  • dh1964 Nov 6, 2014

    That quarantine, Davies said Tuesday, was an effort to help reduce any public fear of the virus or misunderstanding of how it spreads.

    How does the quarantine of the family members reduce misunderstanding of how Ebola spreads? Doesn't it perpetuate misunderstandings of how it spreads?

    As the article notes, Ebola "spreads through direct, unprotected contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person." Unless they expected the family members to go around licking people, the quarantine of the family members was completely unnecessary.