When the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention explained the timeline surrounding the first Ebola patient to be diagnosed on US soil, one detail stood out: The patient, who had recently returned from Liberia, first sought care on September 26 — but he was not admitted to the hospital until he returned two days later.
What happened the first time he showed up at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas? He “was given antibiotics and told to go home,” The Telegraph reported. (Antibiotics don’t do anything to help Ebola, which is a viral disease.)
At that time, his symptoms were still “nondescript” and “nonspecific,” according to The Dallas Morning News. Edward Goodman, the hospital epidemiologist, told reporters that the hospital was investigating exactly why the patient left and whether anyone had asked him if he had recently been to West Africa.
The Associated Press is now reporting that the patient told the hospital he was from Liberia and was still sent home:
BREAKING: Sister of US Ebola patient: He told hospital he was from Liberia on 1st visit, was sent home.
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 1, 2014
After the patient was sent home, his symptoms worsened quickly. By September 28, he was so ill that he needed an ambulance to get to the hospital. That’s when he was admitted.
According to The Telegraph, the ambulance has been quarantined, and the paramedics who treated him have been isolated and are being closely monitored.
“We’re perfectly capable of taking care of this patient with no risk to other people,” said Goodman.
This post was updated with information from The Associated Press.
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