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Ebola-exposed patient is released from Maryland clinic after 9 days

Ebola-exposed patient is released from Maryland clinic after 9 days
A National Institutes of Health clinic in Bethesda, Md., has treated and released an American doctor who was exposed to the Ebola virus in West Africa. (Michael Reynolds / European Pressphoto Agency)

An American who was exposed to the Ebola virus in West Africa and taken to a National Institutes of Health clinic in Maryland was sent home Tuesday, the agency announced.

He is to stay at home and check his temperature twice a day until a 21-day observation period is over, the NIH said in a statement.

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The patient, a physician, arrived at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda on Sept. 28 after experiencing a needle-stick injury that exposed him to the virus while volunteering in Sierra Leone, the agency said.

He had a brief fever that, combined with the exposure, made health officials believe there was a greater chance he had an active Ebola infection, so they put him in isolation as a precaution, the NIH said. The fever has since been deemed unrelated to Ebola exposure.

The patient is feeling well and has no fever anymore, said the agency, which declined to release his name or any further details about him.

So far this year, five Americans -- two missionary doctors, a third missionary, a journalist and an unidentified person -- have contracted Ebola while working in West Africa and have been flown to the U.S. for treatment. Hospitals in Nebraska and Georgia have cared for them, and at least three of the patients have recovered. The journalist, Ashoka Mukpo, arrived in Nebraska on Monday.

A Liberian national, Thomas Eric Duncan, began showing symptoms of the disease after traveling to Texas last month. He is being treated in Dallas.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 3,400 of the nearly 7,500 suspected or confirmed Ebola patients there.

For news about health and more, follow @raablauren on Twitter.

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