UPDATE: Union College student tested negative for infectious disease

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – The president of Union College says the hospitalized student has tested negative for any infectious disease.

President Marcia Hawkins says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health officials confirmed that the student was misdiagnosed.

In a statement, Dr. Maria Braman, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for the ARH system, says the precautions taken for the possible infectious disease were necessary.

“The staff at Barbourville ARH took the necessary precautions for treating a potential infectious disease with the information they had, and this was not a misdiagnosis but rather a best possible outcome for this patient which we are relieved to report,” says Braman.

In a press release issued by the Kentucky Department for Public Health, Governor Andy Beshear says there was never a risk to the public.

“My administration took immediate action working with officials to quickly respond and we are pleased to announce that Kentuckians were never at risk,” said Gov. Beshear. “We thank everyone who helped address the concern.”


Previous story below:

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Officials say a student attending Union College in Barbourville is currently in isolation at a hospital in Knox County.

The college’s president, Dr. Marcia Hawkins, says the student is at Barbourville ARH Hospital and that there is no immediate risk to the public.

The identity of the student has not been released.

While the exact virus is still being determined, Hawkins says the student did not contract the Ebola virus, which she says has been speculated on Facebook. She also says the virus is not airborne.

Hawkins says the school will continue to be in touch with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local health departments.

Officials at Barbourville ARH Hospital say the facility is still open and seeing patients.

“We want to assure Kentuckians we are aware of a potential infectious disease and are working collaboratively with the local hospital as well as local, regional, and federal public health authorities to determine not only a possible cause of illness, but any steps that need to be taken to protect the health and wellbeing of our Commonwealth,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Angela Dearinger. “We do not believe the wider community to be at-risk and appropriate protocols were followed at the hospital to prevent exposure to other patients.”

At this time, a diagnosis has not been made as health officials work to complete necessary medical and laboratory testing outlined by infectious disease protocols, according to officials.

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