Update on Ebola Response: Clinicians Returning from Sierra Leone

Contact: Jeff Marvin, Media Relations Manager

BOSTON (Mar. 14, 2015)—On Wednesday, March 11, a clinician working with Partners In Health’s Ebola response in Sierra Leone tested positive for the Ebola virus disease. The clinician was evacuated from West Africa and is currently receiving treatment at the National Institutes of Health Special Clinical Studies Unit in Bethesda, Maryland.

Ten clinicians who came to the aid of their ailing colleague were subsequently identified as contacts of the evacuated clinician. These individuals remain asymptomatic for Ebola virus disease. Out of an abundance of caution, and in collaboration with the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, these clinicians are being transported to the United States via non-commercial aircraft. They will remain in isolation near designated U.S. Ebola treatment facilities to ensure access to rapid testing and treatment in the unlikely instance that any become symptomatic. The clinicians have agreed to be monitored, and will voluntarily self-isolate during the remainder of the 21-day incubation period, in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Meanwhile, PIH is working with the CDC, the WHO, and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone to conduct a thorough assessment of safety and clinical protocols to ensure that we continue providing the best possible care for our patients, and safe workplaces for our staff.

PIH remains fully committed to the Ebola response in West Africa and, in the months and years to follow, working shoulder-to-shoulder with the governments of Sierra Leone and Liberia toward rebuilding the health systems in both countries.