Ebola scare at Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids

(File photo)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A patient who presented with suspected Ebola symptoms triggered the emergency response plan at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital that was put in place following the outbreak of the deadly disease.

The patient showed up at the emergency room Wednesday night, a source told 24 Hour News 8. The person had been in the West Africa region and presented with a fever while complaining of body aches and stomach issues — all known symptoms of Ebola.

The hospital isolated the patient and contacted hospital administrators and the Kent County Health Department. The patient was placed in a special isolation room that has the technology to stop air in the room from circulating throughout the hospital.

Hospital staff later learned that the patient had been on an island off the coast of West Africa — an area not impacted by the outbreak of the Ebola virus.

“The person did not meet the criteria for testing, was not tested, and was diagnosed with an illness that is not Ebola,” Lisa LaPlante, a spokesperson for the Kent County Health Department said in an email statement. “There has been no ‘Ebola scare,'” she wrote.

Hospital sources said they suspect the patient may have had Dengue Fever, a disease often transmitted by mosquitoes that has reportedly been frequently confused for Ebola. It is not clear what the patient’s final diagnosis was or what his or her condition is now.

Talk of last weeks incident prompted rumors of a potential case of Ebola at Spectrum Hospital to spread online. Hospital officials confirmed that there is no cause for concern.

Spectrum Health has a high degree of sensitivity and concern should a patient present with symptoms suggestive of Ebola and a travel history from the infected regions of West Africa,” a Spectrum Health official wrote in a statement. “Our emergency departments, are prepared with the necessary protection and isolation techniques for anyone presenting with symptoms similar to Ebola.”


The Ebola virus has been in the headlines recently prompting major concerns among Americans especially amid the most recent headlines about the first diagnosis of the disease in the United States. A man was diagnosed with the disease in Texas and Saturday was reported to be getting worse – now listed in critical condition.



The CDC on Ebola

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