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Sacramento hospital places patient in isolation to test for possible Ebola infection

Sacramento, CA (CNN) - A Sacramento, California hospital is treating a patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus. The Centers for Disease Control is testing blood samples.


Behind the walls at South Sacramento Medical Center, one patient waits in isolation after possible exposure to Ebola. Kaiser Permante issued this statement: "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."

Harry Ngo – Pharmacist: "Yeah, this is a little surprising, actually. Yeah. I didn't know about that."

Jonna Mazet – UC Davis Infection Disease Specialist: "So, you can see when it's red we've predicted..."

Infectious disease specialist Jonna Mazet says the public should not panic. The Ebola virus is rare, with exposure usually happening in West African nations. No cases have been confirmed in the US.

Jonna Mazet: "But you should know it's hard to get. You would have to really be in close contact."

It's still unclear what prompted the patient to get medical attention in the first place, but according to Mazet, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Jonna Mazet:  "So, people that have been in that region or have been in contact with people who have been in that region are being super vigilant and they are going to the hospital with the slightest sign of illness."

Right now the Sacramento patient is awaiting his or her lab results. If the test comes back positive, medical experts say that person will be quarantined for at least 3 weeks.