DURHAM - According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, a preliminary test result for Ebola in a patient at Duke University Hospital has come back negative. More testing will happen in the next 72 hours and the patient will continue to be kept in isolation.
The NCDHHS is working closely with Durham and Person County Health Departments to monitor the patient, who reported having a fever.
Health officials stressed that it is important to note that the patient's fever could indicate other illnesses.
The individual departed from Liberia and arrived in the United States via Newark Liberty International Airport on October 31. They arrived in Person County on Nov. 1 and developed a fever on Sunday morning. They did not have any symptoms upon arrival in the U.S. and do not have any additional symptoms at this time.
The NCDHHS said the patient has been and will continue to be interviewed regarding close contacts, activities and travel. Officials believe the risk of exposure to others is extremely low and individuals who may have come in contact with the patient once symptoms were present continue to be monitored by their local health departments.
Gov. Pat McCrory, as well as the State Emergency Response Team, have been notified and are on standby to respond as needed.
"State and county officials have been working closely with health care providers since July to prepare for the possibility that a patient in North Carolina might be diagnosed with Ebola," said McCrory. "I want to thank Person County Health Director Janet Clayton, Durham County Health Director Gayle Harris, county officials and Duke University Hospital staff to ensure that the patient was transported and admitted using the appropriate health and safety protocols. I especially want to thank Secretary Aldona Wos, Director Mike Sprayberry and their staffs for their leadership and efforts to coordinate yesterday's response to the potential Ebola patient."
The patient was transported from Person County using appropriate health and safety protocols, according to the release from NCDHHS.
A blood sample from the patient will be sent to the State Laboratory of Public Health for preliminary testing.
Ebola is only contagious after the onset of symptoms. It is not spread through the air, water, or food - or simply by being near an infected person.