WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. — Officials say that a patient at a Westchester hospital who was being monitored for possible Ebola symptoms does not have the disease. Health officials also say the man poses no risk to the public.
A patient at a Westchester hospital was being monitored for possible Ebola symptoms, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino announced Wednesday. The unidentified man is a Westchester resident with a risk factor low enough that there are no plans to test for Ebola, Astorino said at a press conference at his office in White Plains.
“This person did not travel to one of the affected countries, but felt he may have been in contact with someone who was,” Astorino said.
Astorino said the man “had a concern” about Ebola after developing a fever Tuesday night and decided to seek treatment.
There is no Ebola case in Westchester, though there was a question about a man who appeared at a Westchester hospital, county officials said Wednesday. Appearing on New York Post Albany correspondent Fred Dicker’s radio show on WGDJ-AM TALK 1300, Astorino, the Republican candidate for governor, spoke about a local patient who had sparked concern.
“I found out late last night that there is a patient at one of our hospitals in Westchester that was from western Africa. He has not been there recently but he has been in contact with people who were. He is being treated,” Astorino said in response to a question from Dicker.
“They cannot tell if it’s Ebola,” Astorino added. “They do not believe that it is; they believe that it’s low-risk.”
There have been 11 inquiries for possible Ebola cases in Westchester since August, but still no confirmed cases.
Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person in the United States treated for Ebola, died Wednesday morning. Duncan traveled to the U.S. from Liberia and had been in critical condition since being diagnosed in mid-September.
Ebola, which is not an airborne virus, cannot be transmitted by being in the same area as someone who is infected.
The virus is contracted only through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person or animal and it only becomes contagious when an infected person or animal has symptoms.
Symptoms of Ebola include fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, muscle pain, decreased kidney and liver function and possible bleeding, either internally and externally.
“I think we are as ready as possible,” Westchester Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler said. “You never know what will come your way, but communicable disease is our bread and butter–it’s what we do.” Medical professionals in the area are also quite certain that they will see a case of Ebola.