Preliminary tests on a patient at Kelowna General Hospital for Ebola came back negative from B.C.’s Centre for Disease Control on Tuesday.

The patient has been in isolation at KGH since Monday evening after self-reporting a slight fever and sore throat.

The patient is a health-care worker who had been volunteering at an Ebola clinic in Sierra Leone.

The symptoms sprung up three days after she returned on Christmas Day. Although the symptoms were mild, they persisted until the next day and employees at KGH prepared to receive her on Dec. 29.

She drove herself to hospital and was admitted to the hospital’s isolation room at 6 p.m. that day.

Deputy provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the patient was conscientious and followed the Interior Health Authority’s 21-day self-reporting period, wherein people returning from Ebola-ravaged West Africa monitor any change in their health or any symptoms they may experience.

During those three weeks, these returning travellers or health-care workers are also actively monitored by Public Health, and are required to stay within two hours of a provincially designated level 2 hospital.

While doctors are about 90 per cent sure the patient does not have Ebola, the patient remains in isolation and will undergo more blood tests to rule out the disease.

She will also have tests for other potential causes of her symptoms, such as influenza or a common respiratory virus.

The results of those tests are expected later this week.

There are currently seven people in B.C. whom the five provincial health authorities are monitoring after their returns from Ebola-affected areas.

Henry said it’s likely this type of cautionary testing may arise as health-care workers and volunteers continue to return from those parts of the world.

“We are confident this person is being managed safely and carefully,” she said.

Symptoms of Ebola typically include fever, sore throat, muscle pain and headaches, and can increase to vomiting, diarrhea and rash. Symptoms then progress to decreased liver and kidney function, and the survival rate is roughly 50 per cent, according to the World Health Organization.

While there’s no vaccine or treatment commercially available for Ebola, cases can be managed with rehydration. The World Health Organization reports with medical care, about one in three Ebola patients survives the disease.

The virus spreads by direct contact with infected bodily fluids, such as blood, or via a surface recently contaminated.

Unlike influenza or tuberculosis, Ebola does not spread through the air.

KGH chief of staff Dr. Mike Ertel said there was no risk to other patients in the hospital’s emergency room or those who visit them.

“There’s no risk to patients or visitors whatsoever,” Ertel said.

“The risk to the public remains extremely low,” Henry said.

This patient is the second of 16 British Columbians who have returned from Ebola-affected areas to have testing.

The other patient, a traveller, tested negative for the disease in Vancouver General Hospital in August.

KGH has trained approximately 30 nurses, six physicians and food and cleaning staff members in Ebola management protocols.

As a level 1 hospital, staff at the Merritt Hospital and Health Centre has undergone basic Ebola management training in order to transport patients to a level 2 hospital safely.

In a statement read by Ertel, the patient wrote she understands the caution taken by IHA in testing for Ebola.

The statement also reads the patient wishes the focus to remain on the West African countries affected by the epidemic.

Ebola virus disease, which broke out in West Africa in March, continues to ravage populations there. The current outbreak is the most severe since Ebola was identified in 1978.

The death toll attributed to Ebola in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone is estimated at nearly 8,000 deaths and more than 20,000 reported cases.