Patient being tested for Ebola, other illnesses at Toronto hospital
A patient hospitalized at Toronto General Hospital with a fever is in isolation and is being tested for Ebola as a precautionary measure, health officials confirmed on Thursday.
Dr. Michael Gardam, director of infection prevention and control at the University Health Network in Toronto, confirmed the patient recently travelled to Nigeria. While Nigeria hasn’t had a case of Ebola for over 21 days, it is currently listed among the West African countries that have had outbreaks.
“Whenever we see somebody who fits the screening criteria, and those are essentially someone who comes from a country that’s on the outbreak list and has a fever, then we are going to screen them for Ebola virus,” Gardam told CP24 News in a phone interview.
Gardam stressed it is "exceedingly unlikely" that the patient has Ebola. But the hospital must test as a matter of protocol. "The way the protocols go, if you decide to test, you really have to treat them as if they have Ebola up until the point that test comes back negative," he said.
He added that Nigeria and Senegal are West African countries that have had small numbers of Ebola cases earlier on in the outbreak, but haven't had ones recently and are about to "fall off" the outbreak list.
In an earlier email statement, the University Health Network said Ebola is one of "several diagnoses being considered at this point" for the patient. Toronto General Hospital is one of the four partner hospitals within the network.
Meanwhile, the patient is in isolation and staff caring for the patient are using protective equipment.The health network did not provide any details about the patient.
Test results are expected to be available in the next 24 hours.