Sacramento patient tests negative for Ebola, CDC says

SACRAMENTO -- A Sacramento hospital patient has tested negative for the Ebola virus, state health officials announced on Thursday.

CBS Sacramento reports that doctors and public-health officials said tests sent to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta came back negative.

 

The patient was considered low-risk from the beginning, but was placed in a special, negative pressure room where doctors wore protective clothing to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

Doctors credited state and county public health agencies and the CDC, saying this case is proof the system is working.

"Their coordinated response and support was essential in swiftly ruling out Ebola in our patient," said Dr. Richard Isaacs with Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento.

The hospital remains tight-lipped about many of the details, citing privacy laws. They would not disclose where the patient is now, what illness they may have had, and when the negative test results came in.

The California Department of Public Health emphasizes there are no confirmed Ebola cases in California, and no patients at any hospitals statewide are considered high-risk.

Meanwhile on Thursday, an American doctor infected with Ebola left his isolation unit and warmly hugged his doctors and nurses on Thursday, showing the world that he poses no public health threat one month after getting sick with the virus.

Dr. Kent Brantly and his fellow medical missionary, Nancy Writebol, who was quietly discharged two days earlier, are still weak but should recover completely, and no one need fear being in contact with them, said Dr. Bruce Ribner, who runs the infectious disease unit at Emory University Hospital.

Brantly's reappearance was festive and celebratory, a stark contrast to his arrival in an ambulance under police escort three weeks earlier, when he shuffled into the hospital wearing a bulky white hazardous materials suit.

"I am thrilled to be alive, to be well, and to be reunited with my family," Brantly said, choking up as he read a written statement. Then he and his wife turned and hugged a parade of doctors and nurses, hugging or shaking hands with each one. For some, it was their first direct contact without protective gear.

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