Nebraska to Get Its 3rd Ebola Patient

A US surgeon originally from Sierra Leone contracted the disease there
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2014 3:00 AM CST
Ebola Surgeon Infected in Sierra Leone Flying to Omaha
In this Oct. 28, 2006, file photo, a mock patient is wheeled in an isolation pod during a drill at the biocontainment unit in the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

At least five doctors in Sierra Leone—one of three West African nations at the heart of the worst Ebola outbreak in history—have died after contracting the virus while treating patients. Now a surgeon from Sierra Leone who is a permanent resident of the US is being flown to Omaha, Neb., to be treated, and the hospital that successfully treated American aid worker Dr. Rick Sacra and videojournalist Ashoka Mukpo says it is in a "state of readiness," reports CBS News. "As with previous patients we've treated here in recent months, per State Department regulations, we would only have confirmation when a plane is en route with a patient aboard," the Nebraska Medical Center said in a statement. "This is not the case right now."

The surgeon is expected to arrive in Omaha sometime this weekend. While the virus has now infected more than 14,000 people—almost all of them in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea—and claimed more than 5,000 lives, the head of the UN effort to fight Ebola said last week that the rate of infections appears to be slowing and that "hopefully in the next year the outbreak will come to an end." About 80 US troops are now in a 21-day quarantine at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia after returning from an Ebola aid mission in Africa. (Meanwhile, the most recent US patient to contract Ebola was released from the hospital this week.)

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