UPDATE: Mount Sinai Hospital officials reportedly announced Monday afternoon that the patient likely doesn’t have Ebola, though they are still waiting for test results to confirm it.
Fears of a potential Ebola outbreak in New York City are swirling after it was revealed that Mount Sinai Hospital is performing tests on a patient who displayed Ebola-like symptoms following his recent trip to West Africa, according to WABC-TV.
Health officials said Monday a male patient arrived at the hospital’s emergency room on Monday morning with a high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms consisted with the deadly Ebola virus. The patient is reportedly in isolation as doctors attempt to pinpoint the cause of his symptoms.
In a statement, Mount Sinai Hospital said “all necessary steps are being taken to ensure the safety of all patients, visitors and staff.”
“We will continue to work closely with federal, state and city health officials to address and monitor this case, keep the community informed and provide the best quality care to all of our patients,” the hospital wrote.
The news comes after two American aid workers were transported from Africa to Atlanta to be treated for the Ebola virus at Emory University Hospital.
The Ebola virus is not airborne, so people would have to come into contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. These include blood, sweat, vomit, feces, urine, saliva or semen – making transmission through casual contact in a public setting unlikely.
The World Health Organization announced Monday that the death toll from the largest recorded Ebola outbreak in history has increased from 729 to 887 deaths in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.
Cases in Liberia jumped from 156 to 255, WHO said, as the government ordered that all Ebola victims must now be cremated because of rising opposition to burials in neighborhoods around the capital. Over the weekend, police were called in amid a standoff over whether health authorities could bury nearly two dozen victims in a neighborhood on the outskirts of the capital, Monrovia.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.