An American health care provider exposed to the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone is coming to Nebraska for observation and possible treatment.
Nebraska Medicine reports the worker has “experienced a high-risk exposure to the Ebola virus.” The patient should arrive at the Biocantainment Unit at Nebraska Medicine this afternoon aboard a private air ambulance.
“This patient has been exposed to the virus but is not ill and is not contagious,” Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the Biocontainment Unit at Nebraska Medicine, said in a written statement released by Nebraska Medicine. “However, we will be taking all appropriate precautions. This patient will be under observation in the same room used for treatment of the first three patients and will be carefully monitored to see if Ebola disease develops.”
“This patient will be observed for development of infection during the 21-day incubation period of the disease, both by monitoring for symptoms and through blood tests,” according to Dr. Smith, also a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
The same team that has cared for other Ebola patients in Omaha will care for this patient.
The Biocontainment Unit has treated three Ebola patients.
Dr. Richard Sacra was released from treatment in September. Sacra, who is from Massachusetts, has stated he will return to Liberia where he contracted the disease to work at a medical mission where he has served for more than 20 years.
Ashoka Mukpo, a cameraman for NBC Network, was released in October after treatment at Nebraska Medicine.
Dr. Martin Salia died less than two days after arriving at Nebraska Medicine. Medical officials report Salia came to Omaha gravely ill and the disease had progressed too far to save him.