U.S. health worker arrives in Nebraska for Ebola evaluation

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 04, 2015 11:58 PM

By Kevin Murphy

(Reuters) - An American health care worker possibly exposed to the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone arrived at a hospital in Omaha on Sunday for evaluation and any necessary treatment, an official said.

The patient was taken by ambulance from the Omaha airport to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where three other patients were treated last year, said Taylor Wilson, hospital spokesman.

Wilson would not disclose the age or gender of the patient, whom he said was flown directly from Sierre Leone to Omaha in an air ambulance.

The patient has not tested positive for Ebola but will be treated at the hospital’s Biocontainment Unit using the same precautions taken with those who had the disease, Wilson said. Two of those patients were treated successfully and a third, gravely ill upon arrival, died.

“There will be 21 days of monitoring and if the disease does develop, obviously treatment would begin pretty quickly,” Wilson said.

Ebola is a hemorrhagic fever. The latest outbreak, first identified in Guinea's remote southeast in early 2014, has struck six West African nations, with Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia bearing the brunt of the 20,000 infections and nearly 8,000 dead.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City; Editing by Michael Perry)