Rossland nurse practitioner Patrice Gordon was released from Kelowna General Hospital on Thursday after secondary tests for Ebola came back negative.

Gordon, who returned from volunteering at an Ebola clinic in Sierra Leone on Dec. 25, had been in isolation at the hospital since Dec. 29.

While the preliminary blood tests for Ebola came back negative from B.C.’s Centre for Disease Control, Gordon remained at the hospital for further testing.

The secondary tests were also used to rule in potential causes of her sore throat and slight fever, including influenza, deputy provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said last Tuesday.

Gordon first noticed a slight fever and sore throat on Dec. 28, and when the symptoms persisted the next day, drove herself to the hospital.

She was admitted to the isolation room through the hospital’s ambulance bay out of precaution, although Ebola is not airborne.

Gordon was well within her three-week reporting period with Interior Health after returning from the Ebola-ravaged West African nation.

During those three weeks, 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 community hospital.

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 again as health-care workers and volunteers continue to return from those parts of the world.

KGH chief of staff Dr. Mike Ertel said Gordon was conscientious and understanding of the protocols Interior Health followed when it came to testing her for Ebola.

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 varies between 25 and 90 per cent, depending on the severity of the disease and whether medical treatment was sought, according to the World Health Organization.

While there’s no vaccine or treatment commercially available for Ebola, cases can be managed with rehydration and the spread can be contained by minimizing exposure to infected persons.

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

Gordon 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 community hospital, the Merritt Hospital and Health Centre’s staff has undergone basic Ebola management training in order to transport patients to a Level 2 hospital safely.

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.