UPDATE: PATIENT "VERY LOW RISK" FOR EBOLA

Loudoun County Health Department Director Dr. David Goodfriend and Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman brief the media at a press conference on an inmate being evaluated for Ebola at Inova. Times-Mirror/Ben Hancock

A Loudoun County Adult Detention Center inmate who was taken to the hospital with a low-grade fever has a "very low risk" of having the Ebola virus, an Inova Loudoun Hospital spokesperson confirmed about 5:20 p.m.

Inova Loudoun spokesperson Tony Raker said that the patient has a "very low probability" for Ebola. Raker said health care officials can't technically say Ebola has been ruled out since the patient was not tested.

County health officials are still monitoring the case.

The inmate, a middle-aged woman, entered the country on Oct. 13 at Washington Dulles International Airport on a flight from a West African country, according to Loudoun Sheriff Mike Chapman.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police found she had an outstanding arrest warrant in Maryland and took her to Loudoun's Adult Detention Center to await extradition.

As a precaution, because she traveled from a West African country, Chapman said the inmate was immediately isolated and monitored.

The inmate presented a low-grade fever this morning and was taken by a Loudoun Fire and Rescue ambulance to Inova Loudoun Hospital in Lansdowne for evaluation of the sometimes deadly virus.

"The fever was lower than what's typically symptomatic for anyone experiencing that, but nevertheless we thought an abundance of caution would be a very good thing to have and have this individual checked out," Chapman said.

The detention center was briefly shut down while the inmate was being transferred from the facility to the hospital, he said.

Loudoun Fire and Rescue Chief W. Keith Brower Jr. said his department began preparing for "this type of situation" roughly six weeks ago.

First response personnel began training on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of Ebola through the Centers for Disease Control and other sources.

"Our personnel got a level of training on response recognition as well as proper use of protective equipment in order to effectively protect themselves as well as dealing with the patient," Brower said.

Raker said Inova was just as prepared as the hospital system in the past has been presented with at least a dozen of cases similar to the one they worked on today. The team, he said, was well-prepared to handle the patient.

Health care workers at the hospital, he said, have constantly trained and prepared for this type of a scenario.

Dr. David Goodfriend, director of the Loudoun County Department of Health, said the woman was initially screened at Dulles Airport by CDC workers and again at the Loudoun ADC.

"That gave us an added level of comfort that she was evaluated at multiple times by multiple people "," Goodfriend said at an afternoon press conference. "At each stage this individual passed through."

Only when she began running a low-grade fever did deputies have her taken to the hospital out of an abundance of caution. The woman did not say whether she had been in contact with anyone with Ebola.

"We thought that when this first came to our attention it was a very low risk for exposure, but we do take this very seriously " " Goodfriend said.

There's stringent testing guidelines for Ebola, so the county worked with the hospital to see "whether they can fully evaluate the individual and feel comfortable based on what they know, whether testing would be indicated," he said.

Just a day earlier, Loudoun officials issued a statement that the county was prepared for the possibility of an Ebola case.

"As the home of Dulles Airport, it is critical that we are prepared for any eventuality," Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large) said in a statement. "We take our mission to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of Loudoun very seriously."

The county employs the National Incident Management System, "the national standard of preparedness training for people who may be involved in the management of, response to, or recovery from an emergency or disaster," County Administrator Tim Hemstreet said in the statement. "Through a coordinated, inter-agency, all-hazards response, Loudoun is prepared to handle all types of situations, from a severe weather event to an outbreak of disease."

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