Doctor to be monitored in USA after possible exposure to Ebola


An American who was providing medical assistance in Congo may have been exposed to the deadly Ebola virus and is being monitored at a Nebraska medical centre in the US. On Saturday, another US citizen was flown to the University of Nebraska Medical Center after being potentially exposed to Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

"This person may have been exposed to the virus but is not ill and is not contagious", said Dr. Ted Cieslak, an infectious diseases specialist with Nebraska Medicine, in a statement. "Should any symptoms develop, the Nebraska Medicine/UNMC team is among the most qualified in the world to deal with them", he said in the press release. Ebola can be transmitted through direct contact and can incubate for three weeks before the infected person starts to show symptoms of the infection. A day later, the United States physician received the experimental Ebola vaccine.

The American, the Nebraska release states, is not an official patient and is being taken privately to the medical center. A spokesperson for the State Department, which arranged the doctor's travel, said the doctor was moved safely and securely.

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Nebraska Medicine, a network of hospitals, clinics and healthcare colleges, together with academic partner UNMC, are among world leaders in the treatment of Ebola. The outbreak began August 1 and has left more than 300 people dead, with 545 confirmed cases recorded as of Saturday, according to the country's health ministry. Symptoms include fever, severe headache, diarrhea, and unexplained bleeding or bruising. Monitoring could last up to two weeks, hospital officials said. The statement said the individual had asked for privacy and the request would be honored. The Nebraska Medical Center has treated Ebola patients in previous outbreaks. He will be transferred to a special biocontainment once symptoms develop.

The Nebraska Medical Center's Biocontainment Unit is one of only several nationwide that was built and equipped for the specific objective of housing and monitoring individual who suffered possible exposure to a deadly disease, according to Wilson.