Yesterday, in CDC Statement: Investigating Additional Potential Ebola Exposures To American Citizens In West Africa, we learned than an American HCW who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone was evacuated to the NIH hospital in Bethesda, and a second healthcare worker who was exposed (but not symptomatic) was being transported to Emory.
Last night it was revealed that at least 10 other Americans who were potentially exposed – but are not currently ill – are being transported back to this country for isolation, observation, and possible treatment.
This move seems predicated upon an `abundance of caution’ rather than expectations that these individuals are infected.
All ten appear to be associated with the non-profit group Partners in Health, which has roughly 2,000 staff members in Africa. First a statement from Partners in Health, followed by an update from the CDC, and then lastly a report by NBC’s Maggie Fox.
Posted on March 14, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeff Marvin, Media Relations Manager
BOSTON (Mar. 14, 2015)—On Wednesday, March 11, a clinician working with Partners In Health’s Ebola response in Sierra Leone tested positive for the Ebola virus disease. The clinician was evacuated from West Africa and is currently receiving treatment at the National Institutes of Health Special Clinical Studies Unit in Bethesda, Maryland.
Ten clinicians who came to the aid of their ailing colleague were subsequently identified as contacts of the evacuated clinician. These individuals remain asymptomatic for Ebola virus disease. Out of an abundance of caution, and in collaboration with the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, these clinicians are being transported to the United States via non-commercial aircraft. 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 CDC guidelines.
Meanwhile, PIH is working with the CDC, the WHO, and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone to conduct a thorough assessment of safety and clinical protocols to ensure that we continue providing the best possible care for our patients, and safe workplaces for our staff.
PIH remains fully committed to the Ebola response in West Africa and, in the months and years to follow, working shoulder-to-shoulder with the governments of Sierra Leone and Liberia toward rebuilding the health systems in both countries.
For Immediate Release: Saturday, March 14, 2015
Contact: CDC Media Relations
CDC continues to investigate potential Ebola exposure among individuals in Sierra Leone, including several American citizens, following the identification of an American volunteer healthcare worker in Sierra Leone who tested positive for Ebola virus. That healthcare worker returned to the U.S. by medevac and was admitted to the NIH Clinical Center on March 13th for care and treatment.
As a result of CDC's ongoing investigation, CDC and the State Department are facilitating the return of additional American citizens who had potential exposure to the index patient or exposures similar to those that resulted in the infection of the index patient. Currently, none of these individuals have been identified as having Ebola virus disease.
Individuals will be transported to the U.S. by non-commercial air transport and will be near the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the National Institutes of Health, or Emory University Hospital.
Individuals will follow CDC’s recommended monitoring and movement guidelines, including direct active monitoring and, as appropriate, voluntary self isolation during the 21-day incubation period. In the event an individual shows symptoms, they will be transported following protocol to an Ebola treatment center for evaluation and care.
Ten Americans who helped treat a medical worker infected with the Ebola virus are being evacuated from Sierra Leone and will be quarantined near special isolation units, the charity they work for said Saturday.
Partners in Health, a nonprofit group with 2,000 staff in West Africa, said the Americans are being evacuated and quarantined out of an abundance of caution. Earlier Saturday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said several people would be flown to the U.S. by private jet.
"Ten clinicians who came to the aid of their ailing colleague were subsequently identified as contacts of the evacuated clinician," Partners in Health said in a statement on its website.
None has any symptoms.