Other Americans in Sierra Leone May Have Been Exposed to New U.S. Ebola Patient: CDC
Agency said it is monitoring health workers, making contingency plans to fly them home
FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Several other Americans may have been exposed to a U.S. health worker who was recently infected with Ebola in Sierra Leone, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday afternoon.
The unidentified, infected worker was flown in isolation on a chartered flight to the United States earlier Friday, and was admitted for treatment at a U.S. National Institutes of Health high-level containment facility in Maryland.
"[The] CDC is conducting contact tracing of individuals in Sierra Leone, including several other American citizens who may have had potential exposure to this index [original] patient," the agency said in a statement. "At this time, none of these individuals have tested positive for Ebola."
One of the Americans had potential exposure to the sick American, although that person has not shown any symptoms of Ebola infection, the CDC said. That person is being flown on a chartered flight to Atlanta, to be close to Emory University Hospital, which has a special isolation unit for treating dangerous infections like Ebola.
The CDC added that it is developing contingency plans with the U.S. State Department for returning the other potentially exposed Americans to the United States. Those individuals would voluntarily isolate themselves and be monitored for the 21-day incubation period, the agency added.
The Ebola patient in Maryland, reportedly in serious condition, is the 11th person with Ebola to be treated in the United States since August, NBC News reported.
The facility in Bethesda is the same one where nurse Nina Pham was treated for Ebola and where a doctor and nurse with suspected Ebola infection were kept until it was determined they did not have the deadly virus.
Of the 10 people treated for Ebola so far in the United States, eight have survived and two have died, NBC News reported.
The death toll in the largest-ever Ebola outbreak has passed 10,000, the World Health Organization said Thursday.
Nearly all the victims have been in the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Only 15 Ebola deaths have occurred in other countries: Mali, Nigeria and the United States, the Associated Press reported.
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on Ebola.