2 PASSENGERS FROM LIBERIA MONITORED AT CHICAGO HOSPITALS AS PART OF EBOLA SCREENING PROCESS
Doctors do not believe they were exposed to the virus. Dr. Emily Landon, Head Epidemiologist at University of Chicago Medical Center, said Wednesday the child is in stable condition.
Both patients flew in from Liberia and were taken as a precautionary measure to Chicago hospitals on Tuesday.
The child vomited on the plane and was screened at O’Hare. The patient did not have a fever or any other symptoms. The child was taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital for a full evaluation. Paramedics transferred the child to the University of Chicago Medical Center for ongoing observation in isolation.
In line with Chicago Public Health Department protocol, which goes above Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, the child’s family is also under quarantine. None of those family members have symptoms or were at risk for exposure.
The second patient is an adult and in isolation at Rush University Medical Center. That passenger traveled from Liberia to the U.S. alone. The traveler reported nausea and diarrhea, but was diagnosed with typhoid fever in August.
The adult patient was screened at O’Hare and had no fever. There was also no risk of exposure. Doctors at Rush are not testing this person for Ebola, but are monitoring the patient for symptoms.
University of Chicago hospital staff have prepared for a possible Ebola patient, training them on using protective suits, decontamination procedures, and properly isolating patients.
“We are prepared to setup a quarantine unit in one of our extensive care unit. It will be a unit quarantined off from the rest of the patient care areas. It will be self-contained,” said Krista Curell, of University of Chicago.
Rush, University of Chicago, Lurie Children’s and Northwestern Memorial Hospital make up the city health department’s Ebola response network.
The two cases give hospital staff an opportunity to put their training to work.
“You need practice and knowledge base. We have a knowledge base. But none of these institutions in Chicago have practice because there are zero cases of Ebola here,” said Dr. Omar Lateef, an internist at Rush.
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