November 28, 2014 / 8:52 PM / 5 years ago

Arizona man who visited Sierra Leone hospitalized over Ebola concerns

(Reuters) - A Phoenix man who became ill after returning this week from Sierra Leone, one of the three West African nations hardest hit by an Ebola outbreak, was taken to a hospital on Friday to check if he was infected with the virus, officials said.

The 32-year-old man, who was not identified, was transported to the Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix for evaluation after complaining of sickness including dry-heaving and diarrhea, Phoenix Fire Department spokesman Mark Vanacore said.

Dr. Robert Fromm, the hospital system’s chief medical officer, said it seemed unlikely the man was infected with Ebola but was undergoing tests out of “an abundance of caution.”

“This patient’s symptoms and presentation aren’t strongly suggestive of the Ebola disease,” Fromm told reporters. “Given his presentation, I would not be surprised if he actually was discharged back home following his additional evaluation.”

While the man told officials he traveled to Sierra Leone in response to the epidemic, Arizona officials said he did not treat Ebola patients, go to funeral services or otherwise come into contact with anyone infected with the virus.

His symptoms developed after he returned to the United States on Wednesday.

Reporting by David Schwartz; Writing by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Will Dunham

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