Two Columbus Children Being Tested for Ebola At Nationwide Children's Hospital

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Two Columbus children are in isolation today at Nationwide Children’s Hospital after being tested for the Ebola virus.

UPDATE: The two young Columbus residents who were recently tested for Ebola have tested negative for the Ebola virus.  Columbus Public Health received the negative test results from the Ohio Department of Health. Both individuals have tested positive for Influenza A. The patients will be treated for influenza and monitored for progress.

The Columbus Health Department tells 10TV the four-and six-year-old girls traveled to Sierra Leone three weeks ago with their mother.

Public Information Officer Jose Rodriquez said the children spiked a fever last night and were transported to the hospital by ambulance.

The EMS staff who made the transport were wearing protective gear and are not considered to be at risk.  They are under obsevation until the results from the children come back.

Rodriquez said it appears the family had a low risk of contracting the virus.

“Even though they traveled to the region, they had no known contact with a patient that was either living with or died from Ebola,” said Rodriquez.

Test results are expected later this afternoon. The girls will remain in isolation until test results are back and Rodriquez expects those results later today.

Columbus Public Health is working with the CDC and Ohio Department of Public Health as it waits for those results.

Should the test results come back positive for Ebola, a CDC team would arrive in Columbus and work with state and local health officials.

The Health Department says it is made aware of all people with travel history to west Africa and monitors those travelers twice a day for 21 days. The children have been monitored daily by Columbus Public Health for 17 days since their return from West Africa.

Nationwide Children's Hospital released the following statement:

"Over the last 4 weeks, NCH has ruled out Ebola for 12 patients in the ED and clinics. These patients all met the criteria for a positive screen. Earlier this morning, our screening processes identified two patients who were transported to NCH, and the required protocols were enacted. NCH is working closely with the Ohio Department of Health, Columbus Public Health and the CDC. At this time, tests have been sent to evaluate for Ebola infection. All processes and plans are being followed to ensure safety. A respiratory virus (influenza) is more likely to be the cause, but we must rule out Ebola. Nationwide Children’s will continue to be overly cautious to protect all patients and staff. A variety of diagnoses (including routine flu viruses) take hours to verify."

Stay with 10TV and refresh 10TV.com for updates.

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