Hospital: KC-area man tests negative for Ebola virus

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Officials with The University of Kansas Hospital say that a patient admitted to the hospital with a high fever after traveling to Sierra Leone has tested negative for the Ebola virus.

The hospital did say that the unnamed patient—identified only as a man in his 30’s from the metro area—tested positive for malaria. The man had traveled to the West African nation and returned to the metro on Thursday. When he returned, he began to complain of a fever and headache.

On Friday he was placed in an isolation ward until tests results returned from a regional lab in Nebraska.

“The incident is a good reminder that Ebola is still active in other parts of the world,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lee Norman in a statement on Saturday. “As a national leader in healthcare, we remain committed to providing exceptional care for every patient who needs us while keeping the community safe.”

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that can cause fever, fatigue, vomiting and headaches.  Severe cases can end in a coma or even death.

“We knew that when the tests showed he had malaria as the likely cause for his symptoms that Ebola was unlikely. But his concerns and ours are the same – to be absolutely sure that it couldn’t be a result of the Ebola virus infection,” said Dr. Lee in the statement.

The hospital says that the patient is responding to treatments, and is now recovering at home.

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