Paulding County man tests negative for Ebola

by: Richard Elliot Updated:

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PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. - A Paulding County man tested negative for the Ebola virus after he became ill shortly after his return to the U.S. from a trip to Africa, according to officials.

The Paulding County Sheriff's Office and Fire-Rescue confirm they got a 911 call from the man's son Saturday night stating his father recently returned from Nigeria and was showing, what he believed, were Ebola-like symptoms.

Paulding County emergency medical technicians  responded to the couple's senior living apartment in full Hazmat suits and rushed the elderly man and his wife to an isolation unit at Emory University Hospital, in DeKalb County -- the same hospital where two American Ebola patients are recovering.

Officials said tests confirmed the man did not have Ebola and, late Monday, they said tests also showed the man did not have Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome or MERS.  However, they said the man remains in isolation at Emory.

Channel 2 Action News contacted the Northwest Georgia Public Health Department, the Georgia Department of Public Health and Emory University Hospital, but could not get a comment.

Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin said he had trouble getting any information about what was going on from state health officials.

"It seems like everyone wants to shift the answers somewhere else," Austin said.  "I think that there ought to be some point person that answers directly and provides those answers when asked.  My question is how well they responded to us to give us the information to know locally perhaps what it is, and how we need to deal with it."

The couple's apartment remained sealed by police tape Monday afternoon.

Austin praised the job Paulding County's first responders did getting to the scene in protective suits and rushing the couple to the hospital.

"I think we had a very good local response," said Austin.  "Our first responders, our Hazmat team responded very well."


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