The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today admitted an American healthcare worker who has tested positive for Ebola virus disease to the NIH Clinical Center Special Clinical Studies Unit (SCSU) in Bethesda, Md.
The individual acquired the disease while volunteering at an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone and was transported back to the United States in isolation via a chartered aircraft.
NIH physicians have evaluated the patient and have determined that the patient’s condition is serious. No additional details about the patient are being shared at this time.
The SCSU is a high-level containment facility staffed by infectious diseases and critical care specialists. The unit staff is trained in strict infection control practices optimized to prevent spread of potentially transmissible agents such as Ebola. In addition, access to the unit is strictly controlled.
This will be the second patient with Ebola virus disease admitted to the NIH Clinical Center. An earlier patient was treated successfully and released free of disease. The NIH Clinical Center also admitted two individuals who experienced high-risk exposures to the Ebola virus while working on the Ebola response in West Africa, but who were ultimately found not to be infected.
More than 10,000 people have died in a West Africa epidemic of Ebola that dates back to December 2013, according to the World Health Organization.