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An American healthcare worker exposed to the Ebola virus during the ongoing outbreak in Africa was recently released from Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
The unidentified worker never developed Ebola but was exposed while delivering care in the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The patient “completed the required 21-day monitoring period and did not develop symptoms of the disease,” Ted Cieslak, MD, infectious diseases specialist with Nebraska Medicine, said in a statement. “Because this individual was symptom-free throughout the monitoring period, it was determined they did not have Ebola and therefore were free to depart our facility and return home.”
This healthcare worker arrived for monitoring at the medical center on Dec. 29, 2018. The patient was carefully isolated and monitored in an area of the facility not accessible to the public or other patients. If the patient developed Ebola, the plan was to transfer care to the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit, where three healthcare workers were treated during the 2014 outbreak in West Africa.
The current Ebola outbreak in the Congo reached 591 cases by Dec. 26, 2018. That included 543 confirmed and 48 probable cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports.1
“Of these cases, 54 were healthcare workers, of which 18 died,” the WHO stated. Overall, 357 cases have died, resulting in a case fatality rate of 60%. More than 200 Ebola patients have recovered to date in the Congo outbreak.
Financial Disclosure: Medical Writer Gary Evans, Editor Jill Drachenberg, Editor Jesse Saffron, and Editorial Group Manager Terrey L. Hatcher report no consultant, stockholder, speaker’s bureau, research, or other financial relationships with companies having ties to this field of study. Nurse Planner Kay Ball is a consultant for Ethicon USA and Mobile Instrument Service and Repair.