N.C. DHHS News Release: Additional Testing Confirms a Negative Result for Ebola for Patient at Duke

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…)

Final test results negative for Ebola in hospitalized patient

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…)

Preliminary test results negative for Ebola in hospitalized patient

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.

To learn more about Ebola, how we’ve prepared, and get ongoing updates, visit http://sites.duke.edu/ebolainfo/.

Patient being evaluated for potential Ebola virus at Duke University Hospital

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.

To learn more about Ebola, how we’ve prepared, and get ongoing updates, visit http://sites.duke.edu/ebolainfo/.

 

 

Message to our patients regarding the Ebola Virus

Thank you for taking a moment to visit this site to learn more about the Ebola virus and Duke Medicine’s preparations to address the unlikely but possible arrival of a patient with Ebola — or suspected Ebola — to one of our hospitals or health system outpatient offices.  Communicating openly with our patients about this rapidly evolving situation nationally and internationally is a high priority for Duke University Health System.

Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, Duke Raleigh Hospital and the other care facilities that comprise the Duke University Health System have a history of successfully addressing complex and demanding medical and patient care challenges.  You can rest assured that Duke has been preparing for the potential for dealing with a case of Ebola since the first two patients arrived in the U.S. in July.

A comprehensive infection control plan has been put into place. Patients who arrive at any of our hospitals or physician offices are being immediately screened for any possible risk of exposure to Ebola.  Our health care teams also have a clear process for immediately isolating any patients warranting an infectious disease consult in designated, confined examination rooms.

On this site, in the “About Ebola” section, you will find a variety of information about the disease as provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  Of particular interest might be their information about transmission of the virus.  In the section they cover the fact that Ebola is only transmitted when a person comes in direct contact with the bodily fluids of a patient infected with Ebola.  Ebola is not transmitted through the air.

Should an Ebola patient ever require hospitalization at Duke, a special section of the hospital that is confined and secured, would be used for this purpose.  Our health care teams at all three hospitals are reviewing and training on proper infection control measures, including sterilization and patient isolation procedures consistent with guidelines provided by the CDC.

If the situation arises, we are confident of our ability to care for a patient with Ebola without posing a hazard to those in the Duke and greater Triangle communities.  If called upon to care for a patient with Ebola, the chance of this resulting in an infection risk for other patients, visitors, staff or others is extremely unlikely, to the point of being almost non-existent.  Duke’s infectious disease teams are in regular contact and communication with experts at the CDC, as well as officials at state and local health departments, to ensure access to any new information about the virus or caring for these patients.

The safety and quality care of all of our patients is our highest priority.  We appreciate your interest in learning more about our preparedness should a patient arrive at Duke.

William J. Fulkerson, Jr., MD, Executive Vice President, Duke University Health System

Thomas Owens, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Duke University Health System

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