Sacramento patient being tested for Ebola

A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is being tested at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center.

The patient is being kept in an isolated negative pressure room while specialists work to confirm or rule out an Ebola infection. 

Hospital officials refused to reveal the patient's gender, age, which West African country he or she had traveled to and how the exposure may have happened, citing federal health privacy laws.

But they did report the patient developed symptoms during the 21-day period it takes Ebola to incubate after returning from Africa, warranting being tested.

The Centers for Disease Control and prevention told they expect to receive the sample from Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center later today. The agency has received dozens of phone calls from health departments regarding travelers who have been to the affected areas in Africa. They have so far tested about a half a dozen samples - all have tested negative for the Ebola virus.

According to the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services says all appropriate protocols are being followed.

The state Department of Public Health described the patient as “low-risk,” and that there were no confirmed cases of Ebola anywhere in California.

In a written statement, Kaiser Permanente spokesman Marc Brown said, “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.”

Those precautions include isolating the patient in a negative pressure room, and ensuring that trained staff members use personal protective equipment in coordination with infectious disease specialists, allowing care to be provided in a setting that safeguards other patients and medical teams, according to Kaiser.

Some hospital visitors were frustrated Tuesday night, saying Kaiser should have released more information about the possilbe ebola case.

“They should’ve let us know so we can take action upon ourselves instead of hearing it from you guys,” hospital visitor, Tami Treadwell, told FOX40. “We should’ve heard it from the horses mouth.”

Patient privacy regulations prevent the hospital from releasing personal information like the patient’s name, age, and gender.

But some hospital visitors had other questions on their minds regarding the time frame and procedures surrounding the patient’s admittance. “Has he been around other people before he was quarantined?” Deanna Stordahl wondered aloud outside the hospital.