Patient exposed to Ebola to be treated at Maryland clinic

NIH to treat American Ebola patient from Sierra Leone

The National Institutes of Health announced Saturday it expects to admit a patient exposed to the Ebola virus in the "coming days."

The patient is an American doctor who was exposed to the virus while volunteering in Sierra Leone, according to a statement from the NIH.

Health officials did not release a name, but said the patient will be admitted to the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., for "observation and to enroll in a clinical study."

"Out of an abundance of caution, the patient will be 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," the agency said in a statement.

It said staff at the unit is specially trained in strict infection control practices designed to prevent spread of transmissible diseases such as Ebola. The statement did not suggest that the patient had developed any symptoms of the disease.

John Burklow, a spokesman for the NIH, said the patient could arrive as early as Sunday. 

So far this year, three American doctors and a nurse have been infected with Ebola while working in West Africa, according to the Centers for Disease Control. 

They have received treatment at hospitals in Nebraska and Georgia. 

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