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U.S. Health Worker May Been Exposed to Ebola, Gets Quarantined

Nebraska Medicine cared for three patients with the virus in 2014 and monitored several others for exposure during a 2013-16 outbreak in West Africa

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Health workers in protective suits transport a surgeon working in Sierra Leone who had been diagnosed with Ebola, at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., Nov. 15, 2014. VOA

A U.S. health care worker who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus while treating patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo arrived in the United States Saturday and was put in quarantine in Nebraska.

The medic, who is not exhibiting symptoms of Ebola, will remain under observation for up to two weeks at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha, Nebraska Medicine said in a statement.

The individual’s name was not released for privacy reasons.

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A view of the emergency entrance at the Nebraska Medical Center Biocontainment Unit in Omaha, Neb., Nov. 15, 2014. VOA

Symptoms such as fever and abdominal pain may appear up to three weeks after contact with the deadly virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Should symptoms develop, the health care worker would be moved to the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit, one of only a few in the United States for treating infectious diseases.

The Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo is the second worst ever and has killed 356 of the 585 people infected since it began six months ago, according to the World Health Organization.

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Health care workers enter a house where a baby suspected of dying of Ebola is, during the baby’s funeral in Beni, North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dec. 18, 2018. VOA

Nebraska Medicine, a network of hospitals, clinics and health care colleges, together with academic partner UNMC, are among world leaders in the treatment of Ebola, which spreads through contact with bodily fluids and causes hemorrhagic fever with severe vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding.

Also Read: If Violence Persists, Ebola Progress in Congo Will Be Lost: WHO

Nebraska Medicine cared for three patients with the virus in 2014 and monitored several others for exposure during a 2013-16 outbreak in West Africa that was the worst on record, with more than 28,000 cases confirmed. (VOA)

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U.N. Secretary-General to Travel to Epicenter of Ebola Outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo

The DRC is no stranger to periodic outbreaks of the Ebola virus, but this most recent epidemic is the worst the African nation has seen in 40 years

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FILE - Health workers begin their shift at an Ebola treatment center in Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo, July 16, 2019. The Ebola outbreak has been declared an international emergency after it spread to eastern Congo's biggest city, Goma, this week. VOA

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will travel to the epicenter of an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo next week.

The DRC is no stranger to periodic outbreaks of the Ebola virus, but this most recent epidemic is the worst the African nation has seen in 40 years.

The World Health Organization says the country has recorded more than 2,800 confirmed cases and at least 1,900 deaths from the virus, which spreads primarily through contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected fruit bats or monkeys.

Guterres plans to visit the country for three days, arriving Aug. 31. His spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, told reporters that Guterres wants to assess the situation and mobilize additional support for the response.

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U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will travel to the epicenter of an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo next week. Pixabay

“In the province of North Kivu, he is scheduled to meet with Ebola survivors and health workers during a visit to an Ebola treatment center,” Dujarric said.

He also is to meet with Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi in the capital, Kinshasa.

In July, the WHO declared the Ebola outbreak to be a public health emergency of international concern.

The majority of cases have been concentrated in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, in the country’s northeast, but cases have emerged in other parts of the country.

Also Read- Microplastics Contained in Drinking Water Pose “Low” Risk to Human Health at Current Levels

At least three cases were also confirmed in June in neighboring Uganda. The people infected with the virus there had traveled from the DRC and had been in contact with a relative who died of Ebola. (VOA)