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Philadelphia patient does not have Ebola |

Philadelphia patient does not have Ebola

A Philadelphia hospital patient being monitored for Ebola symptoms has tested negative for the viral disease, a hospital spokeswoman said Friday afternoon.

The patient recently returned from West Africa and was evaluated overnight in a special isolation room at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, said Susan Phillips, the senior vice president for public affairs in Penn health system.

“All hospital operations continue as usual,” Phillips said in a statement. Penn did not identify the patient.

Whether the person is among the approximately 130 people being monitored by the state after travel to Ebola-affected parts of West Africa is not clear. State health officials referred all questions to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, which did not immediately answer a request for comment.

There have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in Pennsylvania. State health officials are supposed to be in daily communication with people who have arrived in Pennsylvania from Ebola-affected areas of West Africa for 21 days after any potential exposure. Absent any symptoms, people being monitored are free to carry out daily activities.

Earlier this month, a Pennsylvania Department of Health spokeswoman said two people in the state had been tested but did not have the disease. She said testing is a joint decision involving state health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Thursday evening in Gibsonia, the state’s Physician General, Dr. Carrie DeLone, said e_SNbS Pennsylvania is trying to bring more hospitals up to the CDC’s standard e_SNbS of care for Ebola patients. It is unclear if the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania is one of those centers. There are four such centers in the United States.

In Allegheny County, where there are no cases of Ebola and no one is being monitored, health department director Dr. Karen Hacker said. All emergency rooms should be able to isolate and care for potential Ebola patients for up to 72 hours, before a possible transfer to one of the CDC’s designated treatment centers.

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