Health officials have announced the arrival of an American health worker from Sierra Leone who was possibly exposed to Ebola. The patient was brought directly to a hospital in Omaha last Sunday for examination and treatment.
Sierra Leone is the worst West African nation hit by Ebola virus infection.
The patient was transported by air ambulance to the University of Nebraska Medical Center from the Omaha airport. Three other patients were treated in the same hospital last year, according to the hospital’s spokesperson Taylor Wilson.
The gender and name of the patient was not revealed by Wilson, however. He also disclosed that the patient was flown directly by an air ambulance from Sierra Leone to Omaha.
Although the patient has not been tested positive for infection, he will be subjected to the same treatment procedures with those who had been infected by the disease. He will be placed in the hospital’s Bio-containment Unit for precautionary measures. Of the three patients who were treated previously, two made it and one died. The patient was very ill upon arrival to the hospital.
“There will be 21 days of monitoring and if the disease does develop, obviously treatment would begin pretty quickly,” Wilson said.
Ebola can be contracted by direct contact. The virus is transmitted by body fluids such as wounds or break in the skin. It’s a hemorrhagic type of fever similar to Lassa and yellow fever. It affects all the organs of the body and causes internal and external bleeding.
It has been creating havoc in six West African nations especially in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Of the three, Sierra Leone is the most affected. The number of recorded cases is now more than 20,000 with about 8,000 fatalities.
Foreign health care workers volunteer to go there and help the local health personnel who are vastly overwhelmed by the Ebola epidemic. It is during their assignment that some of them get infected by the disease. One American has died already and a British nurse is fighting for her life right now.
They should be considered heroes for putting their life in peril in order to help contain the very lethal virus.