Patient Exposed to Deadly Ebola Virus is rushed to isolation unit in Nebraska, USA
An American health care worker who experienced high-risk exposure to the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone has arrived at a Nebraska hospital for observation.
The patient landed in Omaha Sunday afternoon. Paramedics wearing full-body protective gear drove the patient to the Nebraska Medical Center, which has a specialized bio-containment unit.
Dr. Phil Smith, who leads the unit, says the patient is neither ill nor contagious, and that “all appropriate precautions” will be taken.
“This patient has been exposed to the virus but is not ill and is not contagious,” said Phil Smith, M.D., medical director of the Biocontainment Unit at Nebraska Medicine. “However, we will be taking all appropriate precautions. This patient will be under observation in the same room used for treatment of the first three patients and will be carefully monitored to see if Ebola disease develops.”
The patient will be observed for any signs of Ebola throughout the virus’ 21-day incubation period.
Three Ebola patients have been treated at the Omaha hospital.
Dr. Richard Sacra was treated and released in September, NBC cameraman Ashoka Mukpo was treated and released in October and Dr, Martin Salia, who was gravely ill upon arrival, passed away from the virus after less than two days of treatment in November.
The World Health Organization says more than 8,000 people have died from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa that began about a year ago.
Dr. Smith, also a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, says the same expert team that cared for the other patients here will care for this patient. “This patient will be observed for development of infection during the 21-day incubation period of the disease, both by monitoring for symptoms and through blood tests.”
Courtesy of 1011 Now