Posted: Mon 4:48 PM, Dec 31, 2018
Updated: Mon 7:18 PM, Dec 31, 2018
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – An American is recovering at Nebraska Medicine after a potential exposure to Ebola.
Officials are keeping a close eye on the person to see if they develop symptoms of the contagious virus.
The announcement that a person possibly exposed to the virus was coming to Omaha was first made on Saturday.
The person who is under watch was in Africa for a humanitarian medical mission, and they will be staying at Nebraska Medicine through the up to three week incubation period of the virus.
The person was transferred to the U.S. from the Congo by an air ambulance, then by a secured vehicle to Nebraska Medicine.
Doctors said the person is not contagious and there is no danger to the public, but will continue to be monitored and assessed for the next few weeks.
Nebraska Medicine treated three patients with Ebola in 2014.
in 2015, several other people were monitored in Nebraska after exposure to the virus, none of whom developed the disease.
Infectious disease specialist Mark Rupp said that the Nebraska Medical Center is home to one of the nation’s few dedicated biocontainment units.
“I think the fact this person was sent here to Nebraska Medicine for observation and potential care just really documents that we are one of the few places in the world that delivers this type of potential care,” he said.
The person being monitored is not officially a patient, and until the need arises, they will not be transferred to the biocontainment unit.
“The individual we have isn’t showing signs or symptoms of Ebola, and therefore would not be a danger or contagious. There is no concern of that person spreading virus to anyone,” Rupp said.
Symptoms of Ebola include bleeding nose, mouth eyes or IV sites along with hemorrhagic fever.
“In the state of Nebraska, we are the only regional treatment center that can provide the full spectrum of care for the duration of the illness,” Rupp said.
Doctors said Nebraska Medicine is the only national quarantine unit to be funded for monitoring and observation care of infectious diseases.