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An American healthcare provider working in Sierra Leone who experienced a high-risk exposure to the Ebola virus is in the Biocontainment Unit at Nebraska Medical Center for observation and possible treatment. The patient arrived Sunday aboard a private air ambulance.
“This patient has been exposed to the virus but is not ill and is not contagious,” says Phil Smith, MD, medical director of the Biocontainment Unit at Nebraska Medicine. “However, we will be taking all appropriate precautions. This patient is under observation in the same room used for treatment of the first three patients and is being carefully monitored to see if Ebola disease develops.”
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 is caring 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.”
Out of respect for the patient’s request for privacy, no further information will be released unless the patient provides consent.
A total of three patients with Ebola have been treated at Nebraska Medicine. 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, died from the virus after less than two days of treatment in November.
Source: Nebraska Medicine