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Ebola patient comes to NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda

An American doctor who was exposed to Ebola while volunteering to treat patients with the virus in Sierra Leone was admitted to the National Institute of Health in Bethesda on Sunday, the institute said.

The patient will be treated at the NIH Clinical Center's Special Clinical Studies Unit, which is "specifically designed to provide high-level isolation capabilities" and staffed by experts on infectious diseases and critical care, according to an NIH release.

"The unit staff is trained in strict infection control practices optimized to prevent spread of potentially transmissible agents such as Ebola," the institute said.

The NIH announced the patient's safe arrival at the hospital at about 4 p.m. and assured its patients, staff and the public that they face "minimal risk."

The patient's identity was not released.

The Ebola virus has infected more than 6,000 and killed roughly 3,000 in a Western Africa epidemic this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 1,940 cases were reported in Sierra Leone, about 600 of them fatal, the CDC said.

No confirmed cases have been reported in the U.S.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

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