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HICprevent

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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

Ebola Alert: Co-Workers of Infected American Return to U.S. for Symptom Monitoring

March 13th, 2015

At least 10 co-workers of an American care giver recently infected with Ebola in West Africa have been flown back to the U.S. to be monitored for onset of symptoms, Boston-based Partners In Health reports.

“[These] clinicians who came to the aid of their ailing colleague were subsequently identified as contacts of the evacuated clinician,” the volunteer medical group said in a website post. “These individuals remain asymptomatic for Ebola virus disease. They will remain in isolation near designated U.S. Ebola treatment facilities to ensure access to rapid testing and treatment in the unlikely instance that any become symptomatic.”

The clinicians have agreed to be monitored, and will voluntarily self-isolate during the remainder of the 21-day incubation period, in accordance with guidelines by the Centers for Disease and Control. Partners in Health is also working with the CDC, the WHO, and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone to conduct a thorough assessment of its safety and clinical protocols.

The index case, an American health care worker, tested positive for the virus on March 13 and was medevaced out of Sierra Leone and admitted to the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda MD. An American co-worker of the infected case was also flown back at that time and is under watch for any signs or symptoms near Emory Hospital in Atlanta, the CDC said in an email alert. Both hospitals have treated Ebola patients during the ongoing outbreak.