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Contagious illness scare temporarily shuts down emergency department at Royal Alex

WATCH ABOVE: AHS shut down one of Edmonton’s busiest emergency departments this morning after doctors feared a patient might have Ebola. Fletcher Kent reports.

EDMONTON – A mystery contagious illness scare sparked quick reaction on Monday, but in the end there was no real risk to the public.

The emergency department at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, one of the busiest trauma centres in the city, was closed for several hours on Monday morning.

Alberta Health Services said a patient with a “potential contagious illness” was being treated at the E.R. AHS did not say what what the illness was thought to be, but the E.R. was closed as a precaution. There was fear the patient may have been at risk for Ebola, however later Monday morning AHS ruled out the disease.

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An assessment confirmed the affected person did not present a risk to other patients or staff.

The E.R. re-opened at 11 a.m.

In a news conference Dr. Gerry Preddy said Albertans should be reassured by AHS protocols, citing Monday’s response as proof the health system is ready to handle such situations.

While the E.R. was closed, patients seeking medical care were asked to visit one of the other acute care centres in the city, including the University of Alberta, the Misericordia, and the Grey Nuns.

More to come…

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