A New Mexico woman is being tested for the Ebola virus in Albuquerque after recently returning from Africa, according to state health officials.
And in Sacramento, Calif. hospital officials say a patient “who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus” is also in isolation as blood samples are tested to rule out the virus.
The 30-year-old woman is in isolation as a precaution at the University of New Mexico Hospital after experiencing symptoms similar to the virus that has killed more than 1,200 people overseas as of Tuesday, according to health officials.
The woman from Bernalillo County has had no known exposure to the disease but had been teaching in Sierra Leone, one of several African countries with known cases of Ebola, according to the state's health department.
They said blood work was sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta where it will be tested for the virus. They expect to have the results back by the end of the week.
"The Department of Health is working closely with UNM Hospital and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on this investigation," said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. "UNM Hospital has isolated the patient, and is following the appropriate protocols to ensure other patients and health care workers are safe."
The unidentified patient returned to the U.S. earlier this month before complaining of a sore throat, headache, muscle aches and fever.
Those symptoms are usually followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash and in some cases, bleeding if in fact infected with the virus. A person infected usually does not have symptoms from two to 21 days, according to the World Health Organization.
Less is known about the California patient, who is, being treated at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center.
“In order to protect our patients, staff and physicians, even though infection with the virus is unconfirmed, we are taking the actions recommended by the CDC as a precaution, just as we do for other patients with a suspected infectious disease,” the medical center said in a statement. “This includes isolation of the patient in a specially equipped negative pressure room and the use of personal protective equipment by trained staff, coordinated with infectious disease specialists.”
As of this week there are no known Ebola cases in the U.S. other than two U.S. health workers who were evacuated from Liberia earlier this month.