HEALTH

New York City hospital treating new potential Ebola patient

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NEW YORK (ABC News) -- Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City is treating a possible Ebola patient who recently traveled to West Africa, hospital officials said, although he is "unlikely" to have the deadly virus.

Mount Sinai Medical Center is seen from Central Park in New York City. (Photo: Homieg340/wikimedia)

The patient arrived at the hospital’s emergency room early Monday morning with “a high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms,” according to a statement from the hospital. The patient has since been isolated and is undergoing diagnostic testing.

“All necessary steps are being taken to ensure the safety of all patients, visitors and staff,” the hospital said in the statement. “We will continue to work closely with federal, state and city health officials to address and monitor this case, keep the community informed and provide the best quality care to all of our patients."

Later, in an evening news conference, hospital officials said the odds are this case is not Ebola. The patient had a fever and recently traveled to a West African country, where he returned from last month.

The unidentified patient was was promptly put into isolation as a precaution, the officials said.

“After consultation with CDC and Mount Sinai, the [NYC] Health Department has concluded that the patient is unlikely to have Ebola. Specimens are being tested for common causes of illness and to definitively exclude Ebola,” according to a department spokesperson.

ABC News chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser said the patient’s symptoms don’t necessarily point to Ebola, but Mount Sinai was following precautionary recommendations sent out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week.

“Many things cause fever and gastrointestinal symptoms,” Besser said. “The steps they are taking are wise given the travel history, but nothing about the symptoms is specific to Ebola.”

The death toll of the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone climbed to 887, according to the World Health Organization. 1,603 people have been infected in all.

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