March 12, 2015 / 9:22 PM / 3 years ago

NIH center to admit U.S. healthcare worker with Ebola

(Reuters) - The U.S. National Institutes of Health will admit to its hospital on Friday a U.S. healthcare worker who tested positive for the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone.

The NIH said the patient will be transported in isolation by chartered aircraft to its high-security containment facility on its Maryland campus.

Earlier on Thursday, a British military healthcare worker infected with the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone was flown to London for treatment, and health officials said four more workers were being assessed for possible infection.

The unidentified American will be admitted and treated at the NIH Clinical Center’s Special Clinical Studies Unit. The patient will be the second confirmed Ebola patient to be treated at the facility, which also took care of Texas nurse Nina Pham, who became infected with Ebola while treating a patient at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

In addition to the two confirmed patients, NIH has also cared for two individuals who experienced high-risk exposures to Ebola while working in West Africa, but who were subsequently found not to be infected.

The NIH said it is not releasing any more details about the patient at this time.

Ebola has now killed nearly 10,000 people in the three worst-affected countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Rates of new infections have come down quickly in recent months, however. Liberia last week released its last known Ebola patient from hospital, but Sierra Leone still had 127 patients in Ebola treatment centers as of March 10.

Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Andre Grenon

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