UPDATE: 2 Virginia patients tested for Ebola, tests likely negative

The spread of Ebola in the U.S. is a real concern, but is unlikely if proper precautions are observed. (Source: MGN)
The spread of Ebola in the U.S. is a real concern, but is unlikely if proper precautions are observed. (Source: MGN)

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Two patients in Virginia were tested for Ebola after displaying possible symptoms, however state health officials believe they do not have the virus.

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"We recognize that there is great concern with Ebola virus disease, and that is certainly understandable and warranted," said Dr Laurie Forlano with the Virginia Department of Health. "It's a very scary illness. There have been no confirmed cases of Ebola virus in Virginia, and so that testing to date is negative."

Dr. Forlano urges Virginians to be aware of the symptoms.

"Vomiting, diarrhea, and uncontrolled bleeding," said Dr. Forlano.  "Those symptoms are dangerous, but here in the United States we have an ability to care for those people."

The two Virginians met the travel criteria identified by the Centers for Disease Control, NBC12 has learned.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, one patient is from northwest Virginia. The other patient tested is from eastern Virginia.

The tests as of late Friday have not indicated the Ebola virus in either patients. The Department of Health said Friday there are no confirmed cases of the deadly virus in the Commonwealth.

Both patients were isolated from the general population, but were not ordered to be quarantined.

Health officials declined to comment on when the testing was administered, or identify where the patients are now, citing federal privacy laws.

The CDC travel criteria for people at risk of contracting Ebola includes visits to Western Africa, specifically Sierra Leone and Liberia, since the beginning of Sept. 2014.

The patents had traveled to an area impacted by the Ebola virus and displayed symptoms which are similar to those infected, according to health officials. The patients were isolated and tested. Preliminary results indicated they do not have Ebola.

To date there are no confirmed cases of Ebola in Virginia.

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