Ten clinicians with a Boston-based nonprofit responding to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone are to be transported to the United States after one of their colleagues was infected with the deadly disease. Partners in Health said in a statement yesterday that the medical workers would be evacuated on non-commercial aircraft and isolated in Ebola treatment facilities. On Wednesday, a Partners in Health clinician in Sierra Leone tested positive for Ebola, and the 10 fellow workers "came to the aid of their ailing colleague," the organization said. The 10 have not shown signs of Ebola, and Partners in Health said the evacuations were ordered "out of an abundance of caution."
"They will remain in isolation near designated US Ebola treatment facilities to ensure access to rapid testing and treatment in the unlikely instance that any become symptomatic," the statement said. The clinician who became infected has already been evacuated and is receiving treatment at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. Earlier yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said several Americans who may have been exposed to Ebola in Sierra Leone would be monitored. The CDC did not state how many Americans are coming back, but University of Nebraska Medical Center officials said they will be monitoring four Americans. (Read more Ebola stories.)