Santa Barbara County resident monitored for possible Ebola infection

Santa Barbara County resident taken to Los Angeles-area hospital for possible Ebola infection

A Santa Barbara County resident possibly contracted the Ebola virus overseas and was being transported Sunday night to a Los Angeles-area hospital for close monitoring, public health officials said.

The person -- whose identity was not released -- developed a fever and showed other symptoms of sickness during a 21-day-long Ebola screening program run by the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, said department spokeswoman Susan Klein-Rothschild.

The program monitors those who have returned from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three countries that currently have widespread Ebola epidemics.

The possibility of an Ebola infection is "highly unlikely," Klein-Rothschild said. County health officials counseled the state department of public health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before deciding to "take all precautionary measures," Klein-Rothschild said.

The person was being transported to an undisclosed hospital in Los Angeles County in a specially prepared ambulance that is designed to protect the driver and other health professionals from exposure.

"The individual will remain in the hospital until results of testing are completed," Klein-Rothschild said.

All those who have had close contact with the person have been informed of the possible Ebola exposure. Klein-Rothschild said the community was not at risk.

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