A subsequent test of a new specimen provided by the patient at Duke University Hospital in Durham has resulted in a confirmed negative laboratory diagnosis for Ebola. This test, conducted 72 hours after an initial test was negative for the virus, confirms the patient is currently Ebola free.
The testing was conducted at the State Laboratory of Public Health, located in the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS), one of 15 state labs approved by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to test blood specimens for Ebola. (More…)
The patient who was transported to Duke University Hospital on November 2 with a reported fever and a travel history to West Africa has tested negative for Ebola in a confirmatory lab test. As a result, the patient is considered to be free of the virus. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) notified Duke of these results this evening which support the findings of the preliminary test conducted on November 3 that was negative for the virus. (More…)
The patient who was transported to Duke University Hospital on November 2, 2014, with a reported fever and a travel history to West Africa has tested negative for Ebola infection in a preliminary lab screening. Duke was notified of the results of this initial test this morning by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services who performed the test. A confirming test will be run in 72 hours.
Until Ebola infection is definitively ruled out, the patient will remain under care in a completely contained, isolated and secured unit at Duke University Hospital and all other aspects of Duke’s comprehensive infection control plan remain in place.
The patient’s care team at DUH has undergone extensive training over the past several weeks in caring for such a patient. This patient is being cared for in a separate unit with no other patients, and staff caring for these patients will have no other patient contact during this time. The team has received hours of training in the proper use of personal protective equipment to prevent their exposure to the virus.
As of Sunday evening, November 2, a patient has been admitted to Duke University Hospital for further evaluation and testing for potential Ebola virus infection. We expect to know the results of this test from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services sometime Monday morning. Meanwhile, the patient is being cared for in the same confined, isolated and secured space in which an actual Ebola patient would be treated. The patient is receiving care from a seasoned team of Duke clinical professionals who have completed extensive training to treat such a patient. We have anticipated this possibility for several weeks now and have a plan in place to manage this situation.
We appreciate that some may be concerned in hearing this news but wanted to review some facts we hope will be helpful.
Duke has planned and prepared.
With world-class infectious disease experts and extensive infection prevention and protection protocols in place, we are confident in our ability to successfully care for this patient while awaiting the results of the Ebola test, and also preventing risk of exposure to the virus if, in fact, it is present.
We have had a comprehensive infection control plan under development since August and have been actively screening all patients for any risk of exposure to Ebola who have presented to Duke University Health System offices and facilities for the past several weeks.
Transmission risk is extremely low and unlikely.
While we don’t yet know this patient’s Ebola status, it’s worth noting that the risk of transmission of the virus to any patients, visitors, employees or healthcare professionals within Duke University Hospital is extremely low and highly unlikely.
Ebola can only be transmitted through contact with the bodily fluids of a patient with the virus. Ebola is not spread through the air like the cold or flu virus.
Importantly, to date, there are no known cases in the U.S. of transmission of Ebola to patients, visitors or family members at the hospitals in which Ebola patients were being treated, or among the family members and acquaintances of the patients themselves.
Safety is our priority.
The team treating the patient has undergone extensive training on the use of personal protective equipment and infection control procedures with Duke’s infectious disease team and the experts in Duke’s state-of-the-art biosafety lab.
Our infectious disease team is in continuous contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local health departments to monitor any new information related to the virus or care for Ebola patients.
We are committed to caring for all Duke Medicine patients.
While the situation related to caring for this patient, as we await the results of the Ebola test, will be a high priority, our care providers will continue to deliver outstanding care to all Duke Medicine patients.
As one of the leading academic medical centers in the nation, Duke has a history of responding to serious health and medical challenges. Treating this patient is not only consistent with our institutional values and mission, but also aligns to our commitment to our local communities.
With the intense national and local attention surrounding the Ebola virus, many questions have emerged on campus about international travel and how Duke is preparing for the remote possibility of an Ebola patient in its health care facilities.
During a special information session on Wednesday, Duke’s medical experts will help address those questions, share updated information about the Ebola virus and discuss plans to help ensure the safety of patients, students, faculty, staff and visitors.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa and subsequent cases in Dallas have precipitated a significant amount of activity across Duke University and Duke Medicine. We are writing today to update you on the plans and policies that are being put in place to address any potential cases of Ebola, to reduce the risks for our students, patients, faculty, staff, and visitors, and to apply Duke’s expertise and resources to this urgent public health crisis. (More…)
DURHAM, NC – While Duke officials say the risk of infection from Ebola remains extremely low in the United States, they are taking precautions to ensure the safety of patients, students, faculty and staff in the Triangle and around the world.
As a safety precaution in the wake of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, officials announced this week that any member of the Duke community who has traveled to Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia or Nigeria within the previous three weeks should contact Employee Occupational Health & Wellness or the Student Health Center to consult with medical staff prior to returning to campus.