Officials investigate possible Ebola case in U.S.
There's a possible case of Ebola in the United States.
Doctors aren't sure if the patient has the virus, but they're not taking any changes.
"Because she does have some of these generalized signs and symptoms, we want to be unduly cautious," said Dr. Joan Baumbach with the New Mexico Department of Health.
On a day like today, Baumbach springs into action as the the state's deputy epidemiologist.
"I honestly believe that the public is not at risk, that we're taking every precaution necessary and anything we learn of any concern to the public, we will be relaying immediately," Baumbach said.
She said a Bernalillo County woman returned from Sierra Leone Aug. 4.
On Saturday, that woman checked herself into University of New Mexico (UNM) Hospital with flu-like symptoms.
Officials say she's in isolation, with hospital staff following strict guidelines.
"They wear gowns, gloves, face masks, in addition to eye protection," said Meghan Brett an epidemiologist with UNM Hospital.
She said extreme caution is being taken.
CDC and state health officials say the patient's symptoms do not rise to what would be considered a probable case, but some of Ebola's most basic symptoms are there.
"She's absolutely being managed as if she might," Baumbach said.
She said the woman does not believe she was in contact with anyone who has the virus. Transmission is difficult.
"People really need to have those bodily fluids enter their own bodies directly, through touching it or by other means of very direct contact," Baumbach said.
Blood samples from the woman are being collected and will be shipped to the CDC in Atlanta.
Baumbach expects to have preliminary results back by the end of the week.