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Monday, October 6, 2014

Ebola patient arrives in US, man in Dallas remains 'critical'

A worker in a hazardous material suit is helped to undress after coming out of an apartment unit where a man diagnosed with the Ebola virus was staying in Dallas.

The fifth American to contract Ebola in West Africa arrived in the United States for treatment on Monday as the first patient diagnosed with the deadly virus on US soil fought for his life at a Dallas hospital, officials said.

A private plane carrying Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance cameraman for NBC News who contracted Ebola in Liberia, landed in Omaha en route to the Nebraska Medical Center, NBC reported. The plane was met by an ambulance manned by worked in yellow protective suits, NBC video showed.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said his agency would work "very closely" with the Nebraska hospital, which treated another Ebola patient in recent weeks.

"We'll also make sure that doctors and nurses, the whole team taking care of him, does that in a way that doesn't put them at risk by providing them with support," Frieden said, speaking on NBC's "Today" program.

The Nebraska hospital had treated and released Dr. Rick Sacra, an American missionary who contracted Ebola in Liberia, last month. Sacra was admitted to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, on Saturday for a likely respiratory infection but tested negative for Ebola, hospital officials said on Sunday. He was being removed from isolation.

Meanwhile, Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan remained in critical condition, Frieden said.

Duncan became ill after arriving in Texas from Liberia two weeks ago, heightening concerns that the worst Ebola epidemic on record could spread from West Africa, where it began in March.

Frieden, who was slated to brief President Barack Obama later today, said health officials were closely monitoring 10 people who had direct contact with Duncan and are considered at greatest risk. So far none has shown any symptoms, he added.

Another 38 people who potentially had contact with Duncan are also being tracked, he said. Ebola, which can cause fever, vomiting and diarrhea, spreads through contact with bodily fluids such as blood or saliva.

The US cases come as death toll from the deadly epidemic rises. It has killed more than 3,400 people since it began in West Africa in March and has now begun spreading faster, infecting almost 7,500 people so far.

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Tags:  Ebola  US  Liberia  Dallas  patient  World  





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