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Nicaragua quarantines US embassy staffer over Ebola concerns

14 April 2015 10:58


Nicaraguan health authorities say they have quarantined a US embassy staffer amid concerns that he may have been in contact with Ebola patients during a trip to Liberia.

Carlos Saenz, the head of the epidemiology department at the Health Ministry, said on Monday that the officials made the decision after the 51-year-old American man “confirmed that he spent time in health facilities where Ebola patients are being treated” in the African country.

The official added that the man, who was not identified by name and was isolated at his house, had arrived in the Nicaraguan capital, Managua, on Sunday after spending three months in Liberia.

The US government was asked to send a plane “with all equipment necessary” to take him back to the United States, said Saenz.

He added that a medical team visited the man twice a day although he displayed no symptoms of the disease.

A picture taken on November 15, 2014 shows health workers putting on their personal protective wear in the Kenama treatment center run by the Red Cross Society. (© AFP)

“The man does not show any symptoms of the disease and the measures are strictly preventive,” he said.

The US embassy in Nicaragua confirmed that the man had traveled to Liberia, but denied that he had been exposed to Ebola.

The embassy said in a statement that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States and the Nicaraguan Health Ministry had cleared the man to resume work in the Central American country.

A number of Latin American countries, including Nicaragua, have declared a health alert over Ebola and placed travelers from Ebola-stricken West African countries in quarantine.

The UN has announced that over 10,573 people have died in West Africa due to the Ebola outbreak, which began in southern Guinea and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Ebola is one of the deadliest viruses threatening mankind. It spreads through direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person. Its symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, red eyes, chest pain, coughing, stomachache, severe weight loss, bleeding and bruising.

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