Ebola Scare: Nebraska Center Monitors Person for Possible Exposure to Deadly Virus

Kenny Tucker
January 1, 2019

If the exposed person develops symptoms, Cieslak said, the Nebraska team is among the most qualified in the world to deal with them because of the medical center's previous experience caring for Ebola patients.

Moreover, a person can get the Ebola virus through sexual contact, says the CDC.

According to the hospital, the doctor was flown by private plane and then taken by vehicle.

The doctor, who wasn't identified due to privacy concerns, arrived at a medical center in Omaha, Neb., which has previously treated Ebola patients and is partnered with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the university said in a statement. Ebola patients or people who have been exposed to Ebola can be safely transported to the United States and cared for when appropriate precautions are used and infection control procedures are in place to prevent transmission to others, the CDC said.

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a rare and deadly disease most commonly affecting people and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). Health care workers from around the world have descended on northeastern Congo to help thwart the expansion of the outbreak.

Doctors are keeping a close eye on an American physician who returned to the US from the Congo and may have been exposed to Ebola.

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Ebola can incubate for three weeks before symptoms emerge.

Nebraska Medical Center officials also sought to reassure the public that the campus' medical community has the situation well in hand. Early symptoms include headache, fever, chills and muscle pain. Monitoring could take as long as two weeks, the release states.

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

The University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha confirmed Saturday that the unidentified person was being monitored in a secure facility not accessible to the public or other patients. Nebraska Medical Center is home to one of the nation's few dedicated biocontainment units, its news release said. In 2015, five Americans were monitored at the center after being exposed to the virus in West Africa, but none developed the disease.

Nebraska Medical treated three patients with Ebola during the 2014 outbreak.

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