Doctor to be monitored in United States after possible Ebola exposure

01 January, 2019, 22:28 | Author: Denise Dawson
  • The Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha

"An American providing media assistance in the Democratic Republic of Congo recently experienced a possible exposure to the Ebola virus and is in Omaha for monitoring", a statement, released by Nebraska Medicine on Saturday, read.

The physician also received the experimental Ebola vaccine a day after the exposure as a preventive measure.

US officials arranged the physician's travel, a spokesman for the medical center said. The person is not sick nor showing any Ebola symptoms, but could be monitored for up to two weeks, officials said. "We are not aware of any other United States citizens with potential exposures to Ebola at this time, and there is no health risk to the USA public due to this evacuation", says the CDC.

The center where the physician is being held has experience treating Ebola patients and has a biocontainment unit to address symptoms if they develop.

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"The individual was moved safely and securely", a State Department representative said. The doctor is being monitored in a secure area that is not accessible to the public or any patients. He will be transferred to a special biocontainment once symptoms develop.

"This person may have been exposed to the virus but is not ill and is not contagious", said Dr. Ted Cieslak, an infectious disease specialist and associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, in a statement. Nebraska Medical Center is one of a handful of places in the United States that has a dedicated biocontainment unit.

Congo has been battling an Ebola outbreak since August, culminating in 543 cases confirmed and 357 deaths as of late December, according to the World Health Organisation.

He or she will be kept in the secure area for up to two weeks and be taken to a specialized bio-containment unit if symptoms show up. In 2015, five Americans were monitored at the center after being exposed to the virus in West Africa, but none developed the disease.

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