MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The results for the patient being tested for Ebola at Methodist University Hospital came out negative Sunday evening.
The patient was put in isolation after showing up to the hospital complaining of Ebola-related symptoms.
The patient was blood tested and drilled with questions about where they have traveled and with whom they had been in contact.
“I just hope our government have it under control and let the people know what’s going on,” L.C. Burditt said.
Elizabeth Hart with the Shelby County Health Department was in the loop since early Saturday morning.
A Methodist Hospital spokesperson said someone showed up at Methodist South with some of the symptoms of Ebola.
The patient was transported to Methodist University Hospital in the Medical District.
“All of the necessary individuals were contacted, and the investigation began,” Hart explained.
Two Memphis Fire Department ambulances, which happened to be transporting patients unrelated to the incident to the hospital, were taken out of service.
Lt. Wayne Cooke reported the ambulances were scrubbed down and put back on the streets.
According to Lt. Cooke, the ambulance that transported the patient did not belong to the city.
The hospital sent out an e-mail saying they put a “patient in a special isolation room” while they were tested for Ebola and investigated.
According to Hart health officials would typically ask, “Have they been to one of the affected countries? Or have they been in contact with someone who has been to one of those countries?”
Hart would not say if the patient recently traveled to west Africa.
“Every hospital in the county is prepared to handle a case,” Hart said.
Hart credited emergency drills for preparing hospitals for the Ebola scare.
New CDC regulations require every inch of skin to be covered with protective gear and every hospital to have an isolation area setup.
If someone is suspected of having Ebola, the county said they would be taken to whatever facility is closest.
However, there is no across-the-board plan for ambulances yet. Officials said they’re still looking at and considering different protocols.
CLICK HERE for more on information on Ebola and frequently asked questions.
The Shelby Co. Health Dept. is also offering speakers about Ebola to groups. CLICK HERE for information on how to request a speaker.
Memphis City Mayor A C Wharton released a statement in response to the situation:
I have been briefed by officials of the Shelby County Health Department, the lead agency. I am pleased to hear that out of an abundance of caution appropriate steps have been taken to deal with this situation in a way that provides the best medical care for the patient, and that protects public health and safety. The first responders at Methodist are using universally accepted practices and coordinating efforts with local and state public health and safety officials, as well as federal officials if circumstances dictate. I am in contact with Police Dir. Armstrong and Fire Services Dir. Benson and the City stands ready to assist in any way we may be needed.