Patient isolated at VCU Medical to evaluate possible Ebola risk

Posted at 7:18 PM, Oct 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-14 00:26:03-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A patient has been isolated at VCU Medical while diagnostic tests are conducted to see if Ebola testing should take place.

CrossOver Health Ministry, located in the 100 block of Cowardin Avenue, said they "don't believe it's Ebola," but initially isolated the patient and took the necessary precautions to evaluate any risk.

The patient traveled to Liberia, a country of concern in the rapid transmission of Ebola, a couple of weeks ago.

liberia mess

The sign outside the door warns of Ebola. A picture that was taken down, earlier read "Clinic Closed For Emergency."

Diagnostic tests are now being conducted at VCU Medical Center, and the Richmond Health Department coordinated care for the patient.

Dr. Don Stern, the director of the Richmond City Health District, said the patient will be evaluated to see if the patient should be tested for Ebola.

“The Department of Consolidated Laboratory Services is ready to go ahead with an Ebola test if it is ordered by VCU,” Dr. Stern said.

Dr. Stern confirmed that a patient visiting the U.S. from West Africa was seen at CrossOver Healthcare Ministry Clinic Monday for a condition unrelated to Ebola.

“Since the patient had a travel history and low grade fever, CrossOver followed infectious disease protocol,” Dr. Stern said.

He said the patient was placed in isolation, and the Health Department was called.

“The patient was referred to a local hospital for laboratory evaluation,"Dr. Stern said. "The patient did not meet the CDC’s criteria for Ebola, but does meet optional criteria, so we thought it be reasonable to do additional testing….it may include an Ebola test if the clinicians determine it would be a reasonable test to perform on this patient."

Dr. Stern said the CDC will advise regarding any further testing depending on the results of the evaluation at VCU this evening.

“CrossOver handled case with high degree of professional expertise and followed infectious disease protocol for the safety of their staff, their patients, and the community,” Dr. Stern said.

The CrossOver facility serves a very large international population.

"We are as prepared as we can be," said Julie Bilodeau, executive director at CrossOver Ministry.

Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, died 10 days after he was admitted to Dallas' Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

His family wonders whether the outcome would have been different if doctors had admitted Duncan to a hospital on September 25, the first time he showed up with a fever and stomach pain. He was turned away.

Duncan's family has criticized the care he received. The Dallas hospital that treated him says staff members did everything they could.

The number of deaths attributed to the current Ebola outbreak, in West Africa, has climbed to 4,033, the World Health Organization reported Friday. The tally brings the total number of confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola to 8,399. The numbers were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States.