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Ebola Patient In 'Serious' Condition At NIH In Md.

BETHESDA, MD. (WJZ) -- A health care worker infected with the Ebola virus is in Maryland for treatment. The person is being treated at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.

Derek Valcourt has more on the patient's diagnosis and why their identity is being kept secret.

We don't even know if it's a man or a woman. We just know that person is listed in serious condition--the 11th American so far to be treated for the disease.

In parts of Ebola ravaged West Africa, the graves are too numerous to count. Since the outbreak began in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, some 24,000 people have been infected. More than 10,000 have died. Eight-hundred of the infected have been health care workers.

People like Maryland surgeon Dr. Martin Salia, who died in November after contracting the disease in Sierra Leone.

Africa's Ebola death rate has slowed, but:

"Just because you did not hear people are dying in Liberia or Sierra Leone didn't mean the story ended there," said Bobby Gbor Joe, Liberian native.

Baltimore resident and Liberia native Bobby Joe now knows Ebola devastation firsthand. He tells WJZ he's already lost 16 of his immediate family members.

"Brothers and sisters. My wife lost five in her family. So, 21 persons we lost," he said.

The latest American Ebola victim arrived at the NIH in Bethesda early Friday morning. That patient is now confined in a special isolation unit--like the one used to care for Dallas nurse Nina Pham, who, along with another nurse, became infected while caring for a patient last year.

"Certainly all the hospitals have gotten ready in response to what happened in Texas in September. However, you want to go where the experience is," said Shawn Mueller, Union Memorial Hospital.

"We've gained so much knowledge from taking care of the folks that have been in the United States so far that now we can utilize that to really have positive outcomes with the folks that we're taking care of."

The CDC says it is actively monitoring several other Americans currently in Sierra Leone who may have been exposed to Ebola through contact with the patient currently being treated at NIH.

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