By Glynn Cosker
Editor, In Homeland Security
An American doctor with a possible Ebola infection checked into the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Sunday. The unidentified doctor was working at a Sierra Leone Ebola treatment facility. The patient flew from Africa to Frederick, Md. and arrived in the Bethesda, Md. facility at around 4.00 p.m.
“Out of an abundance of caution, the patient has been admitted to the NIH Clinical Center’s special clinical studies unit that is specifically designed to provide high-level isolation capabilities and is staffed by infectious diseases and critical care specialists,” said NIH in a statement. “NIH is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our patients, NIH staff and the public.”
Responding to this latest development, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) emphasized that not all people exposed to the deadly disease become infected with it.
“When someone is exposed, you want to put them into the best possible situation so if something happens you can take care of them,” said Dr. Fauci.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the current outbreak of Ebola is the worst in history. The death toll was 3,083 as of Sept. 28 with the number of confirmed cases topping 6,500. Some worst-case scenarios predict a combined total of 1.4 million cases in Sierra Leone and Liberia by January.
So far this year, two U.S. hospitals have treated American citizens suffering from Ebola. Dr. Kent Brantly and aid worker Nancy Writebol survived thanks to treatment at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Additionally, Dr. Rick Sacra was recently released from Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. A fourth unidentified person is currently under treatment in the same hospital. All four people came down with Ebola while working in Liberia.