Doctor exposed to Ebola placed in quarantine after return to US

Grant Boone
January 1, 2019

Nebraska Medicine officials said the individual in their care is not an official patient, and therefore, the hospital will not provide any updates on the person's status unless it deems necessary.

Observation of the individual could last as long as two weeks and is being done in a location that neither the public nor patients can access, the facility said.

"This individual was monitored through the flight to the US, 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.

"This person may have been exposed to the virus but is not ill and is not contagious", said Ted Cieslak, infectious diseases specialist with Nebraska Medicine and associate professor of epidemiology in the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health.

The person was privately transported to the medical center Saturday afternoon, Politico reported. The individual was flown back to the United States in a private plane, not commercial aircraft. Attacks on government outposts and civilians by dozens of armed militias have complicated the work of Ebola response teams, who often have had to suspend crucial work tracking cases and isolating people infected with the deadly virus. 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.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo were more than 590 cases of infection with a deadly virus of Ebola, another 360 people died as a result of the disease. Early symptoms include headache, fever, chills and muscle pain.

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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 Ebola virus spreads to people through direct contact with bodily fluids of an infected person.

Should any symptoms develop, the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit (NBU) would be activated and the person admitted.

During the Ebola outbreak in 2014, the NBU treated 3 patients, said UNMC on its website.

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.

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