UPDATE: Alberta Health Services says tests for Ebola on the patient in question have come back negative.
CALGARY – Alberta Health Services says it’s highly unlikely that a patient being treated for an unknown illness at a Calgary hospital has Ebola.
The patient, a woman in her 30’s, showed symptoms of a contagious illness when at the Peter Lougheed Centre (PLC) on Wednesday night and was later moved to the South Health Campus.
The South Health Campus is one of four hospitals in Alberta designated to handle Ebola patients.
“Due to this this individual’s travel and symptom history, we are testing this individual for several illnesses including Ebola virus disease,” said Medical Officer of Health for the Calgary Zone Dr. Richard Musto during a Thursday news conference.
READ MORE: Alberta’s top doctor tries to ease worries about Ebola
“Testing is being done out of an abundance of precaution,” said Dr. Musto, who stated that health officials have been preparing for the potential of Ebola since August.
“Be assured that we are prepared to manage any potential case of Ebola.”
However, AHS doesn’t think it’s probable that the patient in their care is suffering from the virus.
“The risk of this patient having Ebola is very low.”
AHS is withholding what symptoms the patient is exhibiting, but says she is being treated in an isolation room at the South Health Campus.
“We will continue to manage the individual as though the case could, in fact, be Ebola… even though we believe that that’s highly unlikely.”
“This individual had no known exposure [to Ebola], so the risk is extremely low.”
Dr. Musto says they hope to know whether or not it’s Ebola “within the next few days.”
It’s not the first time health officials in Calgary have treated someone who showed possible signs of having the virus.
“This is the third time where we’ve had somebody in hospital where we’ve managed them.”
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Health officials say they will be following up with anyone who was in the ER at the Peter Lougheed Centre at the same time as the patient in question.
The hospital’s ER was temporarily closed after the patient arrived to clean and disinfect impacted areas. During that time, patients were moved to a different area in the hospital and police tape was draped across one entrance.
“This case is an example of our preparedness,” added Dr. Musto. “Patient and staff health was, and is, protected from any potential risk.”
“Our facilities are safe, they’re open, and they’re providing high quality care.”
WATCH: Highlights of Alberta Health Services’ Thursday news conference with Dr. Richard Musto