An American who may have been exposed to the lethal disease Ebola while in the Democratic Republic of Congo arrived in Nebraska to be monitored, the medical facility revealed Saturday. After the exposure, the health worker received the experimental Ebola vaccine that has been given to more than 53,000 people in Congo, including health-care personnel, according to US officials. If the individual develops symptoms of the virus, the person will be admitted to the hospital's biocontainment unit, one of the few in the USA dedicated to treating highly infectious diseases, Taylor Wilson, a spokesperson for Nebraska Medicine said.
It can take up to three weeks after contracting Ebola for an infected person to begin showing symptoms.
"CDC recognizes that Ebola generates a lot of public worry and concern", the statement said, noting that the agency has "several measures available" to prevent the introduction of disease in the United States. A spokesperson for the State Department, which arranged the doctor's travel, said the doctor was moved safely and securely.
Ted Cieslak, an infectious disease specialist at the medical center, said that the patient may have been exposed to the virus but is not sick and contagious.
The Congolese government is grappling with the second largest Ebola outbreak on record. Early symptoms include headache, fever, chills and muscle pain. "Should any symptoms develop, the Nebraska Medicine/UNMC team is among the most qualified in the world to deal with them". Monitoring could last up to two weeks.
The patient - who has not been named due to privacy reasons - is being held in an area that is not accessible by the public or other patients.
The virus spreads through contact with bodily fluids and causes haemorrhagic fever with severe vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding. In 2015, several others were monitored who had possibly been exposed.
Nebraska Medical treated three patients with Ebola during the 2014 outbreak. "Should any symptoms develop, the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit would be activated and the person admitted".