DENVER — Again reversing course, health officials announced late Monday that a Denver Health patient under observation for possible Ebola virus exposure will in fact be tested for the virus, state health department officials said.
Early Monday morning, a spokesman for Denver Health Medical Center said the patient had recently returned from areas of Africa where the Ebola virus was present and was being monitored.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment initially asked that the patient be tested for Ebola, but in a tweet the agency later said no Ebola testing would happen.
The patient was being closely monitored but was considered “low-risk,” the CDPHE said in a tweet. “We’re exercising extreme caution.”
However, about 4:50 p.m., the state health department issued a press release stating that the patient would in fact be tested “out of an abundance of caution.”
“Although the patient’s condition has not deteriorated, in the absence of another diagnosis, a specimen will be tested at the state lab overnight,” CDPHE said. “Additional testing may be conducted depending on the patient’s clinical status over the next few days as it may take up to three days after symptoms start for the virus to reach detectable levels.”
The patient was in a isolated unit of the hospital and is being cared for by specially trained staff.
A Denver Health spokesman said the patient was transported in a specialized ambulance, which as been taken out of service. The patient was not treated in the ER and “other patients at Denver Health were not exposed,” the spokesman said.
“The patient is in a room that is isolated from other areas of the hospital, and only health care professionals directly involved in patient care are allowed in the area,” the hospital said. “A specialized care team is assigned to the patient and will not be caring for any other patients.”