A man was kept in isolation on Monday while doctors tested him for a possible Ebola infection.
On Monday afternoon, officials at Manhattan's Mount Sinai Hospital confirmed that an unidentified man who recently traveled to West Africa was put in quarantine for testing after he showed symptoms thought to be consistent with the Ebola virus.
"After consultation with CDC and Mount Sinai, the Health Department has concluded that the patient is unlikely to have Ebola. Specimens are being tested for common causes of illness and to definitively exclude Ebola," officials with the city agency said late Monday.
The man reportedly reported to the hospital's emergency room on Sunday evening showing signs of gastrointestinal problems and high fever. However, officials said he did not display any of Ebola's known risk factors for a person who visited an Ebola-epidemic country.
More than 880 people have reportedly died in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea from the deadly virus.
"The patient has been placed in strict isolation, and is currently undergoing medical screenings to determine the cause of the symptoms," the hospital wrote in a statement when news of the possible infection broke. "All necessary steps are being taken to ensure the safety of all patients, visitors and staff."
There was no indication of when testing for the source of the man's symptoms would be released, and doctors declined to reveal any details about the patient — including whether he is an American citizen and what country he traveled to. Still, doctors urged caution until final confirmation.
"If this were a case of Ebola, which we do not know, it is not transmitted by casual contact," Mount Sinai President David Reich told reporters Monday evening.
While the cause of outbreaks are hard to tell, experts say that the virus can be transmitted between humans but cannot be caught through air, food or water.
Infections between humans typically requires close contact with an infected patient's bodily fluids — including blood, sweat and saliva.
If infected, the virus can incubate from anywhere between 2 to 21 days, at which point patients can begin to exhibit symptoms including fever, joint and muscle pain, headaches sore throats, vomiting diarrhea.
There is no vaccine for Ebola, but people have survived infection with medical care.
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