In a statement placed on the Bayhealth Medical Center website on Sunday, October 5, officials from the health organization stated that a child from Liberia was brought to the Bayhealth Kent General emergency department on Saturday, October 4 and placed in isolation.
“The ED staff completed an initial assessment following the recently updated Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for identifying suspected cases of Ebola,” stated Bayhealth officials. “After the assessment, and out of an abundance of caution, the child was admitted to a private isolation room and all CDC guidelines regarding specimen collection, transport, testing and submission for person under investigation for Ebola are being followed.”
The State of Delaware Office of Infectious Disease was notified of the admission, who subsequently notified the CDC. According to Bayhealth officials, the child is past the 21 day maximum incubation period and it has been determined by the CDC that the likelihood of Ebola infection is extremely low. Since the likelihood is low, the CDC declined to test this child for Ebola. The patient will continue to be observed in the hospital until the CDC and the infectious disease physician determine it is safe for the patient to be discharged from the hospital.
“This patient is past the incubation period and as of tonight is symptom free,” Bayhealth released in Sunday’s statement. “Working with state and federal officials, Bayhealth is committed to patient safety and protecting public health.”
On Monday, October 6 the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) reaffirmed in a public statement that there are no cases of Ebola virus in Delaware. “Delaware does not have any cases of Ebola,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH Director. “I appreciate the vigilance of the child’s medical provider to obtain the child’s medical history and alert DPH given the need to carefully evaluate risk for the disease. With global travel, we must always be on alert and ready to screen for such a disease.” According to DPH the child is fully recovered from a mild illness and is expected to be released from the hospital.
DPH also shared information with the public regarding the disease that has recently gained national attention after a Liberian national was the first person to be diagnosed with the Ebola virus while in the United States. “Ebola is a very difficult disease to get and may only be transmitted if a person comes in direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone suffering from the symptoms of the Ebola disease,” stated officials from the Delaware Division of Public Health. “The incubation period, the time in which a person exposed to someone with Ebola will develop the disease, is two to 21 days. The only Ebola case confirmed at a United States hospital is an adult male in Dallas, Texas, who was infected in Liberia.”