British Columbia

Ebola virus: B.C. nurse Patrice Gordon 'never honestly felt' like she had Ebola

B.C. nurse practitioner and Red Cross delegate Patrice Gordon wants to turn attentions back to West Africa, after being released from hospital following an Ebola virus scare.

Nurse practitioner wants to shift focus back to Ebola victims in West Africa after B.C. scare

Patrice Gordon, a B.C. nurse practitioner and Red Cross delegate recently returned from working at an Ebola treatment centre in Kenema, Sierra Leone. She is seen here caring for a one-month-old baby with Ebola. (Handout/Canadian Red Cross)

Nurse practitioner Patrice Gordon said she was never worried she had Ebola, despite a recent scare following her return from Sierra Leone.

Gordon tested negative for the Ebola virus three times after checking herself into the Kelowna General Hospital with cold symptoms, including a slight fever, over the holidays.

"I never honestly felt like I had Ebola," she told Daybreak South's Chris Walker from a Kelowna hotel room where she continues to be monitored by health authorities.

"It didn't feel to me like I was experiencing any of the things that I had seen over and over again in West Africa, so I felt pretty confident that what I had was a really poorly-timed minor viral infection."

Gordon said she tried to reassure her three sons she wasn't sick with anything more than a bad cold, but said they were all worried while she was in hospital.

"Until we actually got the negative results it was hard to be convincing in my reassurance."

Gordon continues to recover from her cold, but she wants to turn the focus to the patients she worked with in Sierra Leone.

"Now the time has come to go, 'Okay, Patrice doesn't have Ebola, let's look back at all the people who do in West Africa,' and really refocus on that being where the emphasis lies."

'I was prepared for sadness and tragedy'

Gordon — a delegate with the Red Cross — said she was moved by her experience at the Ebola recovery centre in Sierra Leone.

"When I arrived there, I was prepared for sadness and tragedy, and indeed there's that in buckets … the thing that surprised me is that the Ebola treatment centre was an incredibly positive place," she said.

"I left there feeling like I was changed in such a positive way."

Gordon will continue to be monitored until January 14 — three weeks from the day she returned to Canada.

To hear the full interview with Patrice Gordon, click the audio labelled: Patrice Gordon recovering from Ebola scare.


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