Four Americans who recently returned to the United States from Sierra Leone are currently being monitored for the Ebola virus. Although they are not currently symptomatic, they may have been exposed to the virus, and will be observed at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, an approved U.S. center for Ebola patients, according to Reuters. A video link to the story can be found here.
A total of 10 aid workers for Partners in Health were evacuated from Sierra Leone, arriving in the United States on March 14, amidst fears that they may have been exposed to the often deadly Ebola virus, according to the Inquisitr. This is the largest group of its kind evacuated since the outbreak last year.
One of the U.S. healthcare workers who tested positive for the Ebola virus while still in Sierra Leone was transported on March 13 to the National Institute of Health in Maryland; that individual remains in serious condition. According to the AP, this is the eleventh person who tested positive for Ebola to be treated in the United States and the second to be treated at the NIH’s Clinical Center. Both Emory and the NIH have the isolation units required to treat Ebola patients.
The four at the Nebraska facility will be monitored for Ebola symptoms for the maximum incubation period of 21 days in the Ebola protocol, according to TIME. Taylor Wilson, a spokesman for the Nebraska Medical Center stated, indicated the following according to Reuters.
“They’re not sick and not contagious.”
Wilson noted that he could not provide any identifying information regarding the individuals at the Nebraska Medical Center.
According to the CDC, the other people will be monitored at the NIH facility or at an isolation unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where other Ebola patients have been treated, according to the Huffington Post. The individuals under observation had either been exposed to the patient who had contracted the virus or had similar exposure to the Ebola virus as the patient who tested positive for the virus while in Sierra Leone.
On March 13, the CDC sent a team to Sierra Leone to investigate how the health care worker was exposed and to determine what other individuals may have been in contact with the infected person.
During its current outbreak, the Ebola virus has killed approximately 10,000 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. Very few cases have been identified in the United States, Britain, and Spain, most having been contracted in West Africa, according to Reuters.
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