Updated Oct. 17 at 7:23 p.m.

After local, state and federal health officials scrambled to address a possible case of Ebola, they found that the disease has not yet spread to the Elm City.

Initial test results for a Yale graduate student suspected of having Ebola have come back negative, Yale-New Haven Hospital announced shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday. The patient, one of the two graduate students who recently returned from researching the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, was admitted to YNHH with “Ebola-like symptoms” on Wednesday night. Both graduate students are currently in isolation. A subsequent press release from the Connecticut Department of Public Health at 5:44 p.m. confirmed the negative result, adding that further test results were expected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the following day.

Early Friday evening, University President Peter Salovey announced in an email to the Yale community that YNHH has received a second confirmation from the CDC that the graduate student does not have Ebola. But he added that the students will remain in isolation according state guidelines.

“Despite this welcome outcome, both of the students who traveled recently to Liberia will continue to abide by the quarantine guidelines established by the State of Connecticut,” Salovey said.

State and hospital officials have declined to comment as to the identity of the graduate student.

Dana Marnane, the director of public relations and communications for the hospital, said YNHH will continue to monitor the patient while waiting for official confirmation of the test result from the CDC.

While University administrators have insisted that the patient did not have contact with the disease, Yale Medical School Dean Robert Alpern said that the patient “did have contact with one person who eventually developed Ebola.”

A source familiar with the patient’s travel activities said the patient came in direct contact with NBC cameraman Ashoka Mupko, who was diagnosed with Ebola on Oct. 1. According to the source, the patient said that contact came the day before Mupko developed symptoms. NBC declined to comment on the matter.

Ebola is currently believed to only be transmitted when a person is symptomatic.

The patient hospitalized Wednesday evening traveled to Liberia with another graduate student. Initially, both had planned to quarantine themselves for 21 days — the incubation period for Ebola — upon their return to the United States earlier this week. Late last week, however, that decision was reversed when University physicians and administrators decided that a quarantine was unnecessary.

But on Thursday, the decision was reversed again. Both students will be in quarantine for 21 days, Salovey said in the second of two emails sent to the University Thursday.

“[The doctoral students] have reported that they were not in contact with Ebola patients or caregivers in Liberia, that they carefully followed recommended travel and hygiene precautions during their stay in the country and that they have continued to do so since their return,” Salovey said in the first email.

The administration, he said, will continue to update the Yale community as it receives more information.

Earlier in the afternoon, Mark D’Antonio, a spokesperson for the hospital, said the patient is in stable, good condition.

The patient contacted Yale Health on Wednesday night reporting symptoms of Ebola. Yale Health arranged for the patient to be transported to YNHH by American Medical Response — privately contracted first responders — at approximately 9 p.m., said Edward Badamo, operations manager at American Medical Response.

The patient, Badamo said, was transported to YNHH in accordance with isolation procedures. The back of the ambulance was covered in plastic, the ambulance crew wore Tyvek suits and the patient was also placed in a Tyvek suit, Badamo said.

On Thursday morning, the hospital released a statement saying that no diagnosis had been confirmed or ruled out. By that time, the patient had been put into an isolation room with negative pressure, ensuring that air flows into the room, rather than out of it.

At a 12:30 p.m. press conference on Thursday — which included statements from YNHH President Richard D’Aquila, YNHH Chief Medical Officer Thomas Balcezak and New Haven Mayor Toni Harp — D’Aquila said that the patient was in isolation and was being monitored by a clinical team. The hospital, he said, was working with local, state and federal officials on the issue.

“We feel we are well prepared to handle an event like this,” D’Aquila said. “We have been preparing for the potential of an Ebola patient for weeks.”

At the press conference, hospital administrators said that a sample from the patient was sent to a state laboratory in Massachusetts for testing.

The CDC directed the hospital to send the sample to a lab in Massachusetts, D’Antonio added.

Yale School of Public Health Dean Paul Cleary said he could not comment on the identity of the patient, as did hospital administrators at the press conference. University Chief Communications Officer Elizabeth Stauderman ’83 LAW ’04 also declined to comment Thursday morning.

The Yale researchers were originally slated to return from Liberia on Oct. 4, but their return home was delayed by a week for unspecified reasons.

At a Thursday afternoon press conference on the potential Ebola case, Gov. Dannel Malloy confirmed that the state will take advantage of the state of public health emergency declared last week. The executive order granted Department of Public Health Commissioner Jewel Mullen the power to quarantine suspected cases and carry out the appropriate isolation procedures. Yale initiated the current quarantine without prompting from the state.

Malloy also announced the formation of a command team in response to the potential case, led by Mullen and comprised of senior officials from the governor’s office, the DPH, the Department of Emergency Services and other state departments. He also demanded that every hospital perform a drill within the next week to ensure preparedness of hospital staff and first responders.

“We must go above and beyond what the CDC recommends,” Malloy said.

Malloy added he hoped the press conference would alleviate any potential hysteria surrounding news of the patient.

Beyond Salovey’s email, it was not clear on Thursday what, if any, additional steps the University was taking to prepare for the possibility of a positive test result. University Director of Emergency Management Maria Bouffard did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

While University administrators and public health officials were speaking with local media at YNHH, CDC director Thomas Frieden testified before a Congressional House panel about his organization’s response to the Ebola outbreak. Frieden defended the CDC’s actions, calling its measures of screening and tracking down potential patients as “tried and true.” There are no shortcuts in fighting Ebola, he added, and the CDC has mobilized teams to aid affected hospitals.

Lawrence Grotheer, director of communications at the Mayor’s office, said both YNHH and American Medical Response followed measures surpassing the CDC recommendations, and New Haven residents are at minimal risk of exposure to Ebola if they have not recently been in West Africa.

Over the past month, there have been four confirmed cases of Ebola within the United States.

  • ttttt

    EDIT: Thank goodness, his preliminary tests seem to be negative. Time for a deep breath. http://foxct.com/2014/10/16/yale-new-haven-hospital-evaluating-patient-with-ebola-like-symptoms/

    These researchers should not have left quarantine. I sympathize with them that it is inconvenient, and I’m sure it would make you feel claustrophobic and be highly irritating, but three weeks of inconvenience to a couple of individuals is worth preventing the potential spread of a disease with 70% mortality rate. Honestly, when I read the first story a couple days ago I was afraid this would be the worst-case scenario, and here it might be. Hopefully it is just some other (more minor) illness. Otherwise this will be some serious negative press for Yale and the School of Public Health. And justifiably so. What hubris.

  • WoodCarverHolo

    The guy was admitted last nite with all the “Criteria” that met the Ebola symptoms – that means it is NOT just flu. The blood test for Ebola only takes 2 hours for results and Yale is lying that they do not have an answer. Unless they are So incompetent that they don’t even have the Ebola test kits there. Be very afraid. He was out and around for 12 days!!

    • zhivago

      Sure, because ‘be afraid’ is always the best advice in a situation like this.

      The tests take longer than two hours, and various places like Quest Diagnostics are not accepting blood samples from suspected Ebola patients. And the ‘criteria’ simply means he had a fever and was recently in Liberia doing work related to the virus, albeit supposedly without contact with sick people. The rate of Ebola within Liberia itself is far higher than anyone would like, but that still means it’s only roughly one in every one thousand people. Being there, and having a fever while various other things are getting people sick does not immediately equate to Ebola, it simply says that health care workers and people who know the person being treated should be vigilant.

      Chances are, much like the recent case in MA, this will be negative. Let’s all hope for that, and in the worst case, and it is Ebola, well we have a pretty damn good hospital and lots of qualified medical people around. Let’s hope we can tackle this just as well as Emory did for their staff and patients.

      • killcam123

        Actually, ‘in the worse case’…this patient has already spread the virus to other people. And even with treatment we are unable to contain the spread, as has already been the case in Dallas.

        What hubris to take the limited knowledge we have of ebola for granted. If it was as hard to spread as has been implied by ‘experts’ telling us not to panic, do you think two nurses in Dallas would have gotten it?

    • wr

      Must be a conspiracy… right?

    • Joe Scott


      • aaleli

        Still does not mitigate the incompetence of the CDC, nor does it exonerate Obama for allowing travel to, and especially from, the hot zones.

  • killcam123

    “University President Peter Salovey said in an email to the University community, sent Thursday shortly after noon, that there is no indication that the student has contracted Ebola.”

    That is just an explicit lie…there is a very real indication that this student might have ebola.

    The level of patronization and egoism displayed by healthcare ‘experts’ and bureaucrats in recent weeks has been completely unacceptable. This is a disease that we have never experienced in this country and that generally, very little is known about. It CLEARLY spreads more easily than implied by disease control ‘experts’, yet they stubbornly keep reminding us not to panic, they its very hard to spread, etc. etc.

    • BeansNRice

      The government has sand bagged the risk, even bent over backwards to make Ebola seem totally minor totally under control because, they claim, they are preventing panic. Fact is by underselling the risk and bending the truth, they’ve created more serious questions, when nobody has been panicking, instead they were asking serous questions, they required honest answers. Because of this deciet the volume on this entire conversation had been needlessly loud. All because we are trying to protect democrats from the voters in November. Sick. I hate all politicians. All govt administrators.

    • namh

      FYI, “ebola-like symptoms” means he had a fever… This was just an appropriately cautious response, given that he had recently come back from working in West Africa. This is the protocol we should be following across the country, but to say that it was likely that he had ebola is simply untrue.

      • joey00

        Yes he had a fever,flu like symptoms were evident in a person who has travelled to Liberia..But “tests” came back negative ; So what does the guy have ?

  • aaleli

    The blind, leading the dumb and stupid. Parading before our very eyes.

    • @HomeinEG

      brilliant lol

  • theantiyale

    And the SECOND researcher? Has s/he been isolated in “an abundance of caution” or are we substituting magical thinking for scientific caution?

  • ShadrachSmith

    Open Borders has a political upside, and Democrats are all about claiming that upside.
    But Open Borders also has a public health downside, and Democrats own that too. Public health has become more about Michelle’s diet initiative, than about dealing with epidemics. Epidemiology is the unwanted, underfunded stepchild of the Democrat’s public health political long game. Therefore, poor performance was pretty much guaranteed. May God bless and protect this man, and may God bless and protect us all.

    So here we are, how do you feel about Open Border policies now?

    • killcam123

      It doesn’t need to be an Open Borders issue. If it weren’t for the brutal incompetence of the CDC and to some degree hospital administrators, we would not be having these scares.

      • ShadrachSmith

        The CDC is powerless to prevent disease because the CDC has become all about Obama’s political outreach, not disease control. Friedman, Obama’s CDC director, comes from leading Bloomberg’s war on soda and salty snacks. The actual control of disease has become an unloved, undiscussed budgetary stepchild of the CDC. The poor results are predictable.

        The problem is that Obama bitterly clings to his Open Borders Demographic goals and Rawlsian analysis of siding with the least advantaged group, instead of his Constitutional duty of protecting Americans from dangers and invasion.

        You can quibble all you want, but the Democrats bitter clinging to the demographic advantages of Open Borders remains the central problem for disease control in American, and you know it.

        • SvenTheBold

          “You can quibble all you want, but the Democrats bitter clinging to the demographic advantages of Open Borders remains the central problem for disease control in American [sic], and you know it.”

          Oh, good God, make this one take a chill pill!

          The Policy of Open Borders (capitalized, to emphasize its seriousness) has no “demographic advantages”. The only advantages are economic ones, and strong they are. Could we cancel all incoming flights from Liberia? Sure we could. But have you ever considered whether that would actually be effective, given that anyone trying to get to the States from a quarantined country would literally just need to hop one extra flight to a different country first (say, Nigeria) in order to circumvent the travel ban? You’d either have to have every nation on Earth joining in on the airtravel quarantine in order for it to have any chance of being effective (and that’s not something we can just declare unilaterally and then expect to work)… or else you’d have to literally shut out the entire world from making flights into the States. Is that really your suggestion?

          Actually, just consider applying your own logic to a hypothetical next epidemic, one originating in China, and then ask yourself whether any president from any party would essentially cancel socioeconomic relations with our largest trading partner, even for the sake of public health? I doubt it; the economic costs to America would be too great, let alone the diplomatic and political ones. Because in addition to it being a thing that the entire world would have to get in on in order for it to be effective… even then, if China itself doesn’t agree to it, they’d expect a king’s ransom due from whoever had the audacity to defy Heaven and organize a quarantine against the world’s other superpower.

          You can quibble all you want, but you know very well that when it gets right down to it, open borders is just serving as your casus belli for criticism of Obama. I’m not 100% convinced that he doesn’t deserve it, but I’m also not going to shy away from calling a spade a spade. You spade. (9_9) *eyeroll*…

          • ShadrachSmith

            Your contrafactual hypotheticals are all you have to comfort you. My sympathy.

            The Chinese Avian flu epidemic resulted in all sorts of federal travel restrictions, all of which Obama waived in 2009 and all of which Obama refuses to reimpose.

            Open Borders is about reaching a minority majority American electorate at the earliest possible date. And it is the D68 that has already killed five American children, while all the illegal children have been secretly distributed to a public school near you. Some things really are simple stuff. This is one of them.

  • The world is worth saving

    Hey, at least it is not Marburg.

    • Jacobo Arbenz

      Marburg is a significantly weaker Ebola-related virus. FYI

      • The world is worth saving

        You take the fun out of everything….lol

  • claire

    So many fear-mongers. He just tested negative. Can everyone calm down now?

    • killcam123

      Have you listened to anything coming out of the CDC? They obviously have no idea how easily Ebola spreads. Their recommendations on what sort of contact is dangerous and what isn’t are completely inconsistent. They are also extremely lax compared with the procedures used by Doctors Without Borders, who have been treating Ebola for decades.

      Knowing this, and allowing someone that had contact with confirmed Ebola patients to leave quarantine should make us all very uncomfortable, if not a little bit un-calm. It was a complete unacceptable and unreasonable administrative decision.

  • Annette

    Glad to hear patient tested negative !!! But can’t help thinking how our wonderful president said he wouldn’t bring ebola into the US. He just sounds more & more stupid!!!

    • PrepaidVisa

      Ebola has been in the US since at least the 1980s. There was an outbreak among primates in a Virginia lab in November 1989.

      Who was president when the virus was likely originally brought to the US? Ronald Regan.

      Who was president during the outbreak? George H.W. Bush.

  • Annette

    CDC clearly out of touch with reality. Director should resign!!!

  • @HomeinEG

    So on October 13 they decide to NOT sequester themselves. Even
    though it is known that one of the researchers came into contact with
    Ashoka Mukpo, who was diagnosed with Ebola on Oct. 1, they are going to
    release the requirement to voluntarily sequester themselves?? And then
    later that same student checks themselves into the hospital with
    symptoms? The negative test is a relief, but really???? Are you kidding me?

    If Yale knew and condoned the release of the voluntary sequester, shame on them. Honestly thats just not acceptable

    • Annette

      I agree!!!

    • joey00

      Flying back and forth constantly.Bringing back the kin of the Monrovian Mayor etc..Got them a MickeyDee’s job..

    • SvenTheBold


      “Officials confirmed that the patient was one of the university’s student researchers who helped monitor the Ebola outbreak in Liberia last month. That student was one of two who had been tested in Liberia. Both had negative results. They came back home on Oct. 11.”

      Never trust a single newssource to give the whole story, not even the YDN.

      Given that both students were already tested once for Ebola, before they’d even arrived back in the states, and given that they both students had already had their tests come up negative, I think we can safely say that the initial decision to release the students was not made rashly.

  • btmc

    The YDN really needs to lock down comments on articles that get a lot of outside attention. Between this and the swastika article, it’s just absolutely ridiculous how the trolls and lunatics so easily take over the comments.

    • Goldie ’08

      Seriously. As a simple YDN troll, I just can’t keep up with these loonies on the blog circuit.

      • ShadrachSmith

        Dear Goldie,

        Why I do missionary work among the Ivy.

        Rightly or wrongly, it is my belief that the opinions of Constitutional Originalists and Tea Party Patriots are both underrepresented and misrepresented on Ivy League campuses.

        The YDN comment boards are one of the few opportunities for free speech on campus. I inject a few strands of conservative observations into the otherwise sterile Rawlsian/Fabian Society bubble that serves as an egg wall for political thought on Ivy League campuses. And that seems to offend you.

        Feel free to discuss your favorite political meme with me. Pick Open Borders, Citizens United, positive rights, the fear of atmospheric CO2, the War on Women campus rape hunt, or any other Democrat campaign meme you feel capable of defending. I’ll be here for a scholarly dialectic with the best your side has to offer.

        I’m just another conservative sock-puppet, but you can think of me as Buckley’s Ghost. So long as those who moderate my submissions allow thoughtful conservatives to post here, I’ll be one of them. Shall we discuss freedom of political speech? That is one of my favorites 🙂

    • ShadrachSmith

      We don’t want anybody criticizing Obama, and that is a good enough reason to stop them, don’t you think 🙂

  • charliewalls

    “Annette” and a few others here have not read reality about the CDC and the Texas case. Way too much chaotic criticism. What agency would you prefer pay attention, or is this something for the ‘free market’ to fix?

    • somensa

      No No the government does a wonderful job handling health, education, etc… I have full confidence in the current government.

  • Jacobo Arbenz




    “A Dallas health care worker who handled a lab specimen from an Ebola-infected man from Liberia who died of the disease is on a Caribbean cruise ship, where she has quarantined herself and is being monitored for any signs of infection, Obama administration officials say.”

    “Also Friday, questions were raised about the death of an airline passenger on a flight from Nigeria to New York City. Rep. Peter King of New York wrote to the Department of Homeland Security saying the man, 63, died after vomiting in his seat, the New York Post reported.

    The Republican congressman said the body was released at JFK airport after a “cursory” examination to ensure the man wasn’t carrying Ebola. King wanted to know what protocols were being set up for such situations.”

  • theantiyale

    “Errors in judgment have been made,” Mr. Murphy said. “We have been told,
    ‘Virtually any hospital in the country that can do isolation can do isolation
    for Ebola.’ The events in Dallas
    have proven otherwise.”

    • SvenTheBold


      “Officials confirmed that the patient was one of the university’s student researchers who helped monitor the Ebola outbreak in Liberia last month. That student was one of two who had been tested in Liberia. Both had negative results. They came back home on Oct. 11.”

      Never trust a single newssource to give the whole story, not even the YDN.

      Given that both students were already tested once for Ebola, and given that they both students already had their tests come up negative, I think we can safely say that the initial decision to release the students was not made rashly. IMO, the “errors in judgment” were more a failure to submit to public hysteria than a failure to quarantine.

  • Richard Gard

    I am impressed by the care and thoughtfulness of the Yale student who checked himself into the hospital on the slightest worry of communicable disease. As opposed to the Dallas nurses who left town after their patient died and went on a few airline flights, a cruise, shopping etc… sheesh. I question whether they should continue to hold a nursing license as they didn’t exhibit careful judgement in this situation.