The federal government is transporting several American healthcare volunteers from Sierra Leone to the U.S. because they may have had exposure to the Ebola patient being treated at the National Institutes of Health, or exposures similar to those that resulted in the patient's infection.
None of the individuals have so far been diagnosed with the virus. As a precaution, they're being transported to locations near the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, the NIH Special Clinical Studies Unit in Bethesda, Md., and Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, which all have biocontainment facilities designated to treat Ebola.
This follows contingency plans previously developed by the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. State Department to bring back potentially exposed American volunteers if necessary. The CDC had previously announced that one American citizen with potential exposure was being transported to the Atlanta area to be close to Emory.
The individuals are coming back to the U.S. via non-commercial air transport. They'll be put under direct active monitoring — meaning public health officials will directly monitor potential symptoms — and they will voluntarily self isolate during the 21-day incubation period, as appropriate, the CDC said.
The healthcare worker at the NIH was last reported to be in serious condition as of midday Friday, and is the second patient to be treated at the facility for a confirmed case of Ebola.
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