WASHINGTON (WNEW/AP) — The Ebola patient who was admitted to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda Friday is now in critical condition, hospital officials said Monday.
The patient, an American healthcare worker, was transferred from Sierra Leone via private charter medevac Friday morning.
This is the second patient with Ebola admitted to the NIH Clinical Center, and is the 11th person with Ebola to be treated in the U.S.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was checking on people in Sierra Leone, including other Americans, who had contact with the NIH patient and may have been exposed to the virus.
One of those people was traveling Friday on a chartered airplane to the Atlanta area to be near Emory University Hospital, where several patients have been treated for the disease, according to a CDC statement.
That person has shown no symptoms, is not diagnosed with Ebola and is expected to voluntarily self-isolate for a 21-day incubation period.
None of the volunteers in Sierra Leone who had contact with the NIH patient have tested positive for Ebola. The CDC and the U.S. State Department have developed contingency plans for flying home other Americans in that group, who would also be expected to isolate themselves for 21 days.
Previously, an American nurse was treated at NIH after she contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian man who died at a Dallas hospital. The nurse, Nina Pham, survived and is Ebola-free.
The NIH Clinical Center has one of the few specialized isolation units nationwide that are set up to treat Ebola patients.
The treatment facility at the NIH is staffed by specialists in infectious disease and critical care and is designed to prevent the spread of highly contagious viruses, including Ebola.
The World Health Organization estimated Thursday that the virus has killed more than 10,000 people, mostly in the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The current outbreak is the largest ever for the disease. While deaths have slowed dramatically in recent months, the virus appears stubbornly entrenched in parts of Guinea and Sierra Leone.
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