Healthcare

CDC: Other Americans possibly exposed to Ebola

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Several American health workers who may be at risk for Ebola are being flown back to the United States, federal health officials said Friday.

The health workers, who are all volunteers helping to treat patients in West Africa, had been in close contact with another American health worker who was diagnosed with Ebola on Friday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

{mosads}That patient is now in “serious” condition at a clinic at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

The CDC is working with the State Department to fly the volunteers back to the U.S. on private planes “out of an abundance of caution,” the agency said. All will then stay away from the public and be actively monitored for symptoms during the 21-day incubation period.

One of the health workers with potential exposure is being flown to Atlanta to be close to specially trained doctors at Emory University Hospital, the CDC said in a statement. That person has no symptoms of the disease and will voluntarily self-isolate outside of the hospital.

The CDC did not say how many Americans were possibly exposed. The agency is also monitoring possible contacts in Sierra Leone, where the infected health worker had been volunteering. The patient’s identity has not been released.

More than 10,000 people have died from Ebola in the last year, nearly all in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. The epidemic has showed signs of slowing in the last two months, prompting the U.S. to scale back its response. Sierra Leone has reported a slight uptick in cases recently. 

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