CDC: Worcester Patient Does Not Have Ebola

Dr. Rick Sacra is an American doctor who contracted the Ebola virus in Africa.
Dr. Rick Sacra, a Massachusetts-based physician, contracted the Ebola virus in Africa. –AP

Massachusetts physician Dr. Rick Sacra, who had survived a bout with Ebola, does not have a recurrence of the disease, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed Sunday.

Sacra was diagnosed with a respiratory infection instead on Sunday after he was admitted to UMass Memorial Medical Center for signs of pneumonia. Dr. Robert Finberg, the chair of medicine at that hospital, said at a press conference Sunday that Sacra showed no signs of a recurrence of Ebola. By Sunday night, the CDC’s test results came back and showed no signs of the deadly virus. The hospital plans to remove Sacra from isolation now that he’s been cleared of the infectious virus.

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The CDC results confirmed the diagnosis made by UMass Memorial physicians, which were outlined during a Sunday press conference.

“The symptoms that he has, which is a cough, is not the symptoms that Ebola presents,’’ Finberg said.

Sacra, who lives in Holden, contracted the disease in August while working at an obstetrics clinic in Liberia. He was successfully treated at Nebraska Medical Center and released.

Sacra was taken to a Boston-area emergency room Saturday with a cough and low-grade fever and then transferred to UMass Memorial.

News of Sacra’s condition was released hours after the hospital confirmed that another patient is undergoing medical evaluation after showing possible signs of Ebola.

The hospital confirmed that the previously unnamed patient was actually Sacra and was isolated in th hospital as a precaution.

There was never a risk to the public, the hospital said in a public statement.

Besides Sacra, one other person from New England has contracted Ebola since the beginning of the outbreak.

Freelance journalist Ashoka Mukpo, of Providence, R.I., tested positive for Ebola while working in Liberia with an NBC News crew, the network confirmed Thursday.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said in an advisory Friday that the possibility of an Ebola case in Massachusetts remains extremely low.

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Several potential cases have been investigated in Massachusetts but none have warranted tests to be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the department said in a press conference Friday afternoon.

“Massachusetts is well prepared to handle an incidence of Ebola, in the unlikely event that a case should occur in the Commonwealth,’’ the department said in its advisory.