A doctor exposed to the Ebola virus has been quarantined at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, not far from the U.S. capital.
According to USA Today, the unidentified man or woman had been working in West Africa’s Sierra Leone, which has been one of the nations hit hardest by the current Ebola epidemic. While the unknown patient has been exposed to the virus, he or she has not yet shown signs of having contracted Ebola. The doctor is currently in isolation in the center and is under observation for symptoms.
NIH infectious disease chief Dr. Anthony Fauci said that exposure to Ebola doesn’t guarantee that a person will become infected.
He also said the following.
“When someone is exposed, you want to put them into the best possible situation so if something happens you can take care of them.”
So far, four Americans who have provided aid in West Africa have been infected with Ebola.
Meanwhile, the National Institutes of Health released a statement, saying, “NIH is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our patients, NIH staff and the public.”
The NIH is expected to start human trials for an experimental Ebola vaccine within a week, according to CNN. The vaccine was developed by GlaxoSmithKline and initial testing with chimpanzees has produced promising results. The next step will be to administer it to human volunteers in order to test for side effects. If it passes that phase of the human trial, the Ebola vaccine with then be tried in increasing doses on a larger group of human subjects.
The GlaxoSmithKline Ebola vaccine is one of several being tested, and the world must continue wait expectantly until at least one of them is determined to be safe for use on humans, if at all.
As reported by The Inquisitr, there have been recent dire predictions about Ebola becoming a “permanent” part of the human population in West Africa. There have also been warnings about the potential inability of U.S. hospitals to handle a domestic outbreak.
In addition, there were reports last week that the federal government has ordered 160,000 hazmat suits specifically designed to protect against viruses. While the government has said the suits are meant to be used by health workers headed to West Africa, it begs the question whether or not America’s leaders are actually preparing for an outbreak at home.
Does it bother you that a doctor exposed to Ebola is in a facility not far from the U.S. capital? Are you worried about people infected with the virus where you live?
[Image via RT]