Golden Valley Memorial Hospital in Clinton, Mo. treats potentially infectious patient

CLINTON, Mo. -- When a patient shows up at a hospital's emergency room, there is a process nurses and doctors go through to help treat them...that process involves asking many questions.

"As a result of that process - both the mandated questions, the questions we would utilize to determine the course of the care for a patient - we identified this patient may have an infectious disease of some sort," said Craig Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare.

GVMH isolated the patient from other patients in the ER Tuesday and called the Missouri Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control.

Under their protocol, the emergency department was re-routing ambulances to an alternate emergency site at the hospital, keeping other patients needing care away from the potentially infectious disease.

"It didn't really matter to us what the disease was," Thompson said. "Anytime a patient presents with any kind of potentially infectious disease, which could be something fairly minor or something fairly major, we're going to treat it the same way and take precautions to keep other patients safe, our staff safe, and our community safe."

As far as symptoms go, Thompson would not give specifics as to protect the privacy of the patient.

"The patient was very sick when they came in and they needed emergency care," Thompson said. "There's no question."

The patient - who was travelling through the Clinton area - was taken to a different hospital in the state because he or she needed specialized care. Specialized care Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare couldn't provide.

While Thompson said it was more serious than the flu, there hasn't been a diagnosis on what the disease was, or if it even was an infectious disease.

KY3/KSPR's Andrew Havranek asked him about the possibility of it being as serious of a disease as Ebola.

Havranek: "Is there any confirmation to that?"

Thompson: "No. Not all all. Not at all. I think that would be a very extreme situation and that did not come into play in our decision last night. We have not received that feedback at all."

KY3/KSPR has called the CDC to see if they had any information on this incident. Our message was passed along, but we have not yet heard back.

Thompson says he's glad his staff took the necessary precautions, and says there is no threat to any patients, staff, or the community.