Africa recorded almost 600 cases of infection with Ebola virus

Henrietta Brewer
January 1, 2019

"Nebraska Medicine/UNMC team is among the most qualified in the world to deal with them".

Dr. Martin Salia, a surgeon infected with the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone, arrives at the Nebraska Medical Center on November 15, 2014 in Omaha, Nebraska.

The American, the Nebraska release states, is not an official patient and is being taken privately to the medical center. In the years since the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Africa, infectious disease experts from Nebraska Medicine and its academic partner the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) have taken a leading role in training other health care workers across the USA and around the world in dealing with infectious diseases such as Ebola.

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a rare and deadly disease most commonly affecting people and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).

Congo has been battling an Ebola outbreak since August, culminating in 543 cases confirmed and 357 deaths as of late December, according to the World Health Organisation.

The unidentified individual had been in the country offering medical assistance at the time exposure may have occurred, according to a news release from Nebraska Medicine.

The physician also received the experimental Ebola vaccine a day after the exposure as a preventive measure. Monitoring could last up to two weeks, hospital officials said. "We are not aware of any other United States citizens with potential exposures to Ebola at this time, and there is no health risk to the U.S. public due to this evacuation", says the CDC.

The virus spreads through contact with bodily fluids and causes haemorrhagic fever with severe vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding. Federal, state and county public health officials plan to monitor the person in a secure area not accessible by the public or any patients.

Updates on the person's condition aren't anticipated "unless the need arises", the facility said. In 2015, several others were monitored who had possibly been exposed. Nebraska Medical Center is one of a handful of places in the United States that has a dedicated biocontainment unit.

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

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