Americans returning from Africa for Ebola monitoring

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga. (AP file photo)

ATLANTA (AP) — Public health officials said Saturday that a number of Americans will return from west Africa to be monitored after possibly being exposed to Ebola.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said several Americans who may have been exposed to Ebola in Sierra Leone would be monitored. The CDC did not specify how many Americans are coming back, but University of Nebraska Medical Center officials say’s they’ll be monitoring four Americans.

“In the unlikely instance that one of them does develop symptoms, we would take them to the Biocontainment Unit immediately for evaluation and treatment,” Biocontainment Unit Director Phil Smith said in a statement. “Because we have individuals to monitor simultaneously, the safest and most efficient way to do that is in a group setting.” Smith said the patients would be quarantined and kept away from other patients, students and staff.

Earlier this week, an American health care worker who contracted Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone was brought to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, for treatment. The patient is a clinician working with Partners in Health, a Boston-based nonprofit organization, according to a statement on the group’s website.

The CDC on Friday said another American would be brought to Atlanta for monitoring. On Saturday, officials said several Americans would be monitored near Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.

Americans returning from Africa may have come into contact with the patient who was brought to Maryland, “or exposures similar to those that resulted in the infection of the index patient,” the CDC said in a statement.

Earlier this week the World Health Organization estimated that Ebola has killed more than 10,000 people, mostly in the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The current outbreak is the largest ever for the disease. Deaths have slowed dramatically in recent months but the virus appears stubbornly entrenched in parts of Guinea and Sierra Leone.

WOOD TV8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s