A man who showed up at a Massachusetts hospital with Ebola-like symptoms and had recently been to Liberia "does not meet criteria to be considered someone at high risk" for the disease, health officials said tonight.
The patient presented himself this morning at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates Braintree, complaining of headache and muscle aches, and was taken by ambulance to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
"After discussions with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the Boston Public Health Commission and its partners have determined that the patient being evaluated at BIDMC does not meet criteria to be considered someone at high risk for Ebola," the Boston Public Health Commission said in a statement. "The BPHC will continue to monitor this situation."
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Dr. Ken Sands said the patient was put in isolation and was being tested for the disease. It will take about 24 to 48 hours for the results, he said.
"The first step is to assess whether the patient should be considered a suspected Ebola case," Sands said. "We have personnel available that have been previously trained, both nurses and clinicians and other support staff and that team is here on site and available to take care of the patient."
Hospital officials told ABC affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston that the patient was told by reception to go wait in his car and that the staff let him know that an ambulance was coming.
"Out of an abundance of caution we immediately notified authorities and the patient was securely removed from the building and put into an ambulance," Harvard Vanguard chief of infectious disease Benjamin Kruskal said in a written statement.
Police escorted the ambulance, whose driver wore a mask and hazmat suit, to Beth Israel.
Harvard Vanguard was closed during the incident, but reopened late Sunday afternoon, WCVB-TV reported.
Across the country in Los Angeles, public health officials met an incoming plane because of concerns about a sick passenger onboard.
The female passenger was aboard United Airlines Flight 703 out of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The passenger had been vomiting and exhibiting what were thought to be flu-like symptoms before landing.
The flight landed at LAX around 2 p.m. and was diverted to a remote runway because of Ebola concerns, but it was determined she was not at risk for the disease.
Officials cited a miscommunication about where the woman had been in Africa.