Wednesday, 26 June, 2019

Ebola latest: USA patient quarantined in Nebraska following virus exposure during outbreak

Congo rebels kill 13 abduct kids in Ebola outbreak region Doctor Reportedly Exposed to Ebola in Africa Brought to U.S. Hospital The Associated Press29 Dec 2018
Anna Jefferson | 01 January, 2019, 04:07

Since August, the Democratic Republic of the Congo health ministry says there have been at least 593 confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola and at least 360 people have died.

Nebraska Medical Center officials said that the physician was transported to the facility from the Congo by private plane and vehicle.

"This individual was monitored through the flight to the USA, and to Omaha, at several different locations, and this person is not symptomatic after any of those checks", University of Nebraska Medical Center spokesman Taylor Wilson told ABC News late Saturday night.

But humanitarian efforts have been frustrated by violence at the epicenter of the outbreak, which has devolved into an active war zone. The Ebola epidemic erupted in West Africa in 2015 and has mainly affected three countries: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Ted Cieslak MD, an infectious diseases specialist with Nebraska Medicine, revealed that the person is not ill and is not contagious despite possible exposure. Early symptoms include headache, fever, chills and muscle pain.

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.

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"Should any symptoms develop, the Nebraska Medicine/UNMC team is among the most qualified in the world to deal with them", Cieslak said in the release. Doctors are working with federal, state and county public health officials to monitor the doctor in a secure area separate from the public and other patients.

The current outbreak in the Congo is the second largest of all-time, after almost 1,200 people died of the virus in 2016.

The virus spreads through contact with bodily fluids and causes haemorrhagic fever with severe vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding.

"While this person isn't officially a patient, we will be honoring their request for privacy while they are being monitored here", Nebraska Medicine said.

No updates will be given on the person's status during the monitoring period unless needed, the release also states. "Should any symptoms develop, the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit would be activated and the person admitted".

The Nebraska Medical Center treated three patients with Ebola in 2014, according to the statement, and the following year monitored several others after exposure, though none of those individuals developed the disease.

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