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American doctor possibly exposed to Ebola brought to U.S. for treatment

An American doctor who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been taken to a Nebraska medical center for treatment, the medical center said Saturday. The doctor had been providing medical assistance in the central African country, where over 300 people have died in the latest Ebola outbreak. 

The doctor has not yet shown any symptoms, Nebraska Medical Center said in a statement. The doctor is being monitored in a secure area that is not accessible to the public or any patients. 

Should any symptoms develop, the medical center will activate the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit and start providing regular updates.

"This person may have been exposed to the virus but is not ill and is not contagious," said Ted Cieslak MD, infectious diseases specialist with Nebraska Medicine and associate professor of epidemiology in the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health.   

Nebraska Medical Center treated three patients with Ebola during the 2014 outbreak. In 2015, several others were monitored who had possibly been exposed.

The current Ebola outbreak began on Aug. 1, 2018, in North Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There have been 543 confirmed cases and 48 probable cases in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, according to the World Health Organization. Three hundred and nine deaths have been confirmed as related to the virus. 

Oxfam said Friday it was suspending its Ebola response work after violent protests, including an attack on a clinic in Beni where possible Eloba cases are being investigated. The Democratic Republic of Congo's electoral commission delayed voting in Ebola-affected eastern cities of Beni and Butembo until March, two months after the new president is set to sworn in. 

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