In the past months, the Ebola outbreak has claimed many lives of civilians and doctors. Although some people have been treated, and a cure supposedly exists, the outbreak continues to spread through ill-equipped West African nations. An American doctor who was recently exposed to the Ebola virus while volunteering in Sierra Leone was admitted at the National Institutes of Health near the country’s capital. His arrival was confirmed on Sunday, through a news release on the official NIH website.
The only reason why the physician is being admitted to a special isolation unit in Bethesda, MD, is because the NIH team wants to exercise extreme caution. No further comments were made, and Dr. Anthony Faucy, infectious disease chief at NIH, refused to discuss any further details about the patient’s status. Nevertheless, he said that an exposure to the Ebola virus doesn’t necessary lead to an infection.
“When someone is exposed, you want to put them into the best possible situation so if something happens you can take care of them.” – Anthony Faucy
The goal of the National Institutes of Health is to protect its staff, the public and the patients. This is exactly why it decided to transport the exposed physician to an isolation unit. The name and information of the patient has yet to be released. We still do not now what his or her condition is.
In the last week, four more cases of American aid workers were reporters. All four were infected with Ebola while they were volunteering in West Africa. They have been treated at hospitals in Nebraska and George, but one of them remains hospitalized because he has not fully recovered yet.
Richard Sacra, a missionary doctor for Holden, Mass. who is currently helping out in Liberia, was also released from the Nebraska Medical Center after having contracted the virus.
The other two American aid workers were released from the hospital after they were successfully treated. Kent Brently, the first American doctor to be treated for Ebola in the United States also donated a unit of blood or convalescent serum to Richard Sacra.
Reports from the World Health Organization show that 3.083 died in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea because of the Ebola Virus. WHO and the CDC are worried that the virus could infect over 1.4 million people in Sierra Leone and Liberia alone, by the end of January. The New England Journal of Medicine also warns that Ebola may become endemic in West Africa. In order to prevent this from happening, the United States has launched a 750$ million effort to build new facilities in Liberia. The UN also voted to create an emergency medical mission to help contain the outbreak.
Lastly, the Liberian government together with WHO and other nonprofit partners have decided to start a program with which infected people will be moved from their homes and into random centers to prevent the disease from spreading.