Doctor exposed to Ebola placed in quarantine after return to US

Doctor exposed to Ebola placed in quarantine after return to US

An American who may have been exposed to Ebola while in the Democratic Republic of Congo arrived in Nebraska to be monitored, the medical facility revealed Saturday. The individual was flown back to the United States on a private plane, not commercial aircraft.

Ted Cieslak MD, an infectious diseases specialist with Nebraska Medicine, revealed that the person is not ill and is not contagious despite possible exposure.

The Congolese government is grappling with the second largest Ebola outbreak on record.

The Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated. The Ebola outbreak in northeastern Congo has been particularly hard to contain because it is an active war zone.

The current Ebola outbreak began on August 1, 2018, in North Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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The person isn't displaying symptoms of Ebola but was evacuated to ensure quick access to specialized care if symptoms develop. Wilson said he did not know whether the person had been given the experimental Ebola vaccine that has already been given to more than 53,000 people in Congo, including health-care personnel. Symptoms include fever, severe headache, diarrhea, and unexplained bleeding or bruising.

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. Nebraska Medical Center is home to one of the nation's few dedicated biocontainment units, its news release said.

The Ebola virus can spread through direct contact with an animal or human infected with the virus and can take up to three weeks before symptoms start to develop in an infected person, according to a fact-sheet on the virus provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

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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