American possibly exposed to Ebola in DRC flown to United States hospital

Protective equipment for Ebola care is left on the ground next to ransacked tents by demonstrators at the Ebola transit centre in Beni, following a demonstration last week against the postponement of elections in the territory of the Beni and the city of Butembo.

An American who was potentially exposed to the Ebola virus while treating patients in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been flown to the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The latest outbreak in the Congo began in August and has killed 347 people, according to the World Health Organization.

Taylor Wilson, a hospital spokesman, said the potential exposure took place about a week ago.

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Nebraska Medicine, a network of hospitals, clinics and healthcare colleges, together with academic partner UNMC, are among world leaders in the treatment of Ebola, which spreads through contact with bodily fluids and causes hemorrhagic fever with severe vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding. The person is not sick nor showing any Ebola symptoms, but could be monitored for up to two weeks, officials said.

But humanitarian efforts have been frustrated by violence at the epicenter of the outbreak, which has devolved into an active war zone. Nebraska Medical Center is home to one of the nation's few dedicated biocontainment units. "The person was also monitored after arrival in Omaha and was shown not to be symptomatic".

The Nebraska Medical Center treated three patients with Ebola in 2014, according to the statement, and the following year monitored several others after exposure, though none of those individuals developed the disease. 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 US and around the world in dealing with infectious diseases such as Ebola.

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