A surgeon working in Sierra Leone has contracted the Ebola virus and is to be flown to the United States for treatment this weekend, the Associated Press is reporting.
The patient, who was not identified, is to be flown to the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha for treatment, Sierra Leone's chief medical officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo, told the news service.
In a statement Friday, the U.S. State Department confirmed that it is "in touch" with the family of a permanent resident working in Sierra Leone who has contracted the deadly virus.
According to State Department officials, his wife, who lives in Maryland, has asked the agency to help determine whether he is well enough to be taken to Nebraska for treatment.
The surgeon would be the 10th Ebola patient to be treated in the United States. Two others were treated at Nebraska Medical Center -- Dr. Rick Sacra, who became ill after working with patients in Liberia, and Ashoka Mukpo, a U.S. cameraman who was also working in Liberia when he was diagnosed. Both recovered and were released from the hospital.
The Nebraska Medical Center said Thursday that it could not officially confirm that it would be treating another Ebola patient until the person was en route. However, hospital officials did say that an Ebola patient in Sierra Leone was being evaluated to determine whether that person was well enough to fly to the facility. If so, the patient would be expected to arrive Saturday afternoon. Hospital officials could not be reached for comment Friday morning.
This post will be updated.