An Air Force pilot with the 437th Air Wing who flew a mission to West Africa last month as part of the U.S. effort to help Ebola-stricken countries is now in isolation while he is tested for "flu-like symptoms," WCSC-TV reported.
Even though the Medical University of South Carolina's hospital is taking all necessary precautions, officials believe this patient's risk for having Ebola is very low.
"The individual was only in West Africa for three hours and did not leave their plane during that time," the health department said in a statement, according to the Post and Courier. "The risk of Ebola is extremely low, however, MUSC is following protective protocol as a precautionary measure."
Staff Sgt. Anthony Hyatt with Joint Base Charleston told WCSC the pilot, who lives off base, began experiencing symptoms Wednesday. MUSC was called about the situation Thursday night, prompting it to enact a response plan for a possible Ebola case.
Watch the news station's report:
"An MUSC medical team was dispatched to the patient's home. The patient was transported to MUSC Medical Center in an isolation pod," MUSC said in a statement posted to Facebook. "The patient was immediately placed in the specialized isolation unit, and is currently under the care of the MUSC Ebola Specialized Medical Team of physicians, nurses and other medical personnel. The patient remains in isolation and the initial assessment indicates the patient is unlikely to have Ebola. However, MUSC and DHEC will continue to monitor the patient closely in the isolation unit. MUSC continues to collaborate with DHEC and other community partners to ensure the patient's privacy and appropriate medical care."
It should be noted that "flu-like symptoms" could very well be related to having the flu or another illness that has nothing to do with Ebola or the pilot's travels to West Africa.
According to a news release from the air wing last week, the mission involved bringing medical personnel and civil engineers to Monrovia, Liberia, as well as transporting containers to construct a field hospital.
Before the mission, military members were briefed on the Ebola situation as well as other infectious diseases in the country.