African Teenager Is Being Tested for Ebola in Miami

an Ebola virus particle.
an Ebola virus particle.
NIAID via Flickr Creative Commons

Update 8:30 a.m. Monday: According to a statement by Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, the initial test by the Department of Heath came back negative. A second test is being sent to the CDC.

A teenager from West Africa is being tested for Ebola after exhibiting flu-like symptoms Sunday afternoon.

The teen first went to Mount Sinai hospital in Miami Beach and was transferred to Jackson Memorial in Miami.

Gov. Rick Scott's office released a statement stressing that the patient "did not meet the CDC case definition for Ebola" but that he was being tested as a precaution. The state ordered 30 additional Ebola testing kits also.

The Miami Herald reports that hospitals were implementing quarantine procedures and that Ebola testing typically requires genetic testing, with a second test 48 hours later to confirm the disease. Health officials would not specify what country the teenager is from.

Here's the full statement from Scott's office:

"Florida's Department of Health is working with the federal CDC to test a patient at a local Miami hospital who was screened today for Ebola. It's important to point out that this patient did not meet the CDC case definition for Ebola, but the test is being conducted out of an abundance of caution and health officials expect the test to rule out Ebola. We are in close communication with Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, and other local officials and health leaders in Miami-Dade.

"As we announced after our health briefing yesterday, Florida still does not have any confirmed cases of Ebola, and we hope we never do, but we are taking every preparedness step possible to keep our citizens and our visitors safe.

"We know from our experience in responding to hurricanes that we must prepare for the worst even as we hope for the best. As part of those preparedness efforts, Florida's Department of Health today requested 30 additional Ebola testing kits from the CDC. This number of kits ensures that all of Florida's 30 public hospitals have the ability to test patients who county health officials and the CDC believe need to be tested for Ebola. Additionally, the Department of Health requested 100 units of additional high-level personal protective equipment to ensure the state is ready to backfill any county whose medical personnel develop a future need for these supplies.

"We know Florida's hospitals and county health offices are prepared to identify and treat patients who may have Ebola. While they are prepared on the local level, the state is requesting increased federal resources out of an abundance of caution for the unlikely event that we may have an extended response that warrants additional resources.

"In order to keep Floridians best informed about the Miami patient and any future developments, I have also asked the Division of Emergency Management to activate the state's Joint Information Center tomorrow, Monday, at 9AM. Our first priority is to keep Florida's residents and visitors safe and a big part of this effort will be to share accurate, timely information with the public."

Email Deirdra.Funcheon@BrowardPalmBeach.com




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