Quinte Health Care has identified that a patient arrived at its Belleville General Hospital emergency room early Monday who is being tested for Ebola as a precautionary measure. Although the patient has recently returned from West Africa and has some symptoms common with the Ebola virus, it is highly unlikely that this patient will test positive for Ebola.
"Given his symptoms and that he was not exposed to any ill people during a very short stopover in West Africa, it is extremely unlikely that he would test positive for Ebola. We expect he has any number of diseases common when people travel," said Dr. Dick Zoutman, QHC Chief of Staff and a nationally recognized infection control expert. "However, since we can not immediately rule out Ebola, we are taking the conservative approach and sending a sample out for testing at the National Microbiology lab in Winnipeg." Testing takes between 24 and 36 hours. The patient will remain at Belleville General Hospital in isolation in the meantime.
Dr. Zoutman added that this has been a test of hospital infection control precautions and shows that the system is working. "Our staff and physicians have handled this case exactly as they have been trained to do," said Dr. Zoutman. "It was about four minutes from the time the patient arrived at our hospital until he was placed in the proper isolation room. From an infection control perspective, the risk to anyone else was virtually non-existent."
Susan Rowe, Senior Director of Communications
(613) 969-7400 ext 2331