An American health worker infected with Ebola is heading to the National Institutes of Health for treatment, NBC News reports.
The patient, who had volunteered to treat Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, is expected to arrive at the hospital in Bethesda, Md., on Friday. The worker will stay in the NIH Clinical Center Special Clinical Studies Unit, one of a handful of units in the USA designed to treat the most dangerous pathogens.
NIH officials have not released any information about the identity of the patient, the 11th person with Ebola to be treated in the USA.
The NIH also treated nurse Nina Pham, who contracted Ebola while caring for the USA’s first Ebola patient in Dallas, as well as two health workers who had “high-risk” exposures to Ebola in West Africa but who did not become sick. Atlanta’s Emory Hospital, Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha and New York’s Bellevue Hospital also treated Ebola patients last year.
At least 24,350 people have been infected with Ebola since the West African outbreak began in December 2013. More than 10,000 people have died, including nearly 500 health workers, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization.
The number of new Ebola cases has declined sharply since the peak of the outbreak last summer, especially in Liberia, which recently discharged its last Ebola patient. Liberia has had no new Ebola cases for two weeks. Sierra Leone and Guinea reported 58 new cases each in the week ending March 8, according to the WHO.