Preliminary tests show nurse does not have Ebola in Jefferson County

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CRYSTAL CITY, MO (KTVI)-- Does Missouri have its first case of Ebola?  Preliminary tests show that the nurse does not have the illness.

A nurse just back from West Africa is hospitalized in Jefferson County while doctors try to determine if she has been infected.

She was admitted at Mercy Hospital Jefferson in Crystal City. But she is not inside the main hospital. They have her in a special isolation room across the street at Mercy`s Surgery Center.

There are no other patients in that building and she has had no contact with any other patients nor has she been in the main part of the hospital since she became ill.

The patient is a nurse from Jefferson County who returned home to this area within the past few days from Liberia.

She had been in West Africa to help with the Ebola crisis, but only in a supporting role and had not been dealing with patients directly.

She was not sick when she came home, but Wednesday she began running a fever. She also began experiencing muscle fatigue.  This is why the decision was made to admit her very early Thursday morning and begin tests.

The surgery center opened in 2010 so has an up to date isolation room which uses negative pressure to keep any infection from spreading. She is being tended to by two doctors and two nurses each shift, working only with her. All of them are specially trained and wearing personal protective equipment.

All the surgeries scheduled in that facility have been moved to the main hospital.

Mercy will not say if the patient is a nurse employed at this hospital.

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