UPDATE: US Doctor Infected with Ebola Arrives in Omaha

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Updated: Fri, 05 Sep 2014 10:35:21 CST

A doctor who became infected with Ebola while working in Liberia has arrived at a Nebraska hospital for treatment.

Dr. Rick Sacra was driven by ambulance to the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha after landing a little after 6 a.m. Friday at Offutt Air Force Base just south of Omaha.

His ambulance went into a hospital receiving bay and vanished from public view at 6:38 a.m. He will begin treatment in the hospital's 10-bed special isolation unit, the largest of four such units in the U.S.

Sacra, from the Boston area, went to Liberia even after hearing that two Americans had already been infected.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Dr. Phil Smith said, "The Biocontainment Unit is built for this sort of event."

Dr. Angela Hewlett said this will be the third Ebola case treated in the United States and the first here at the Medical Center., "It's a scary virus," she said but she added she wanted to emphasize that it is spread by direct contact. Hewlett said, "What we're concerned about is body secretions."

Over the summer federal health officials said were currently seeing the worst Ebola outbreak in modern history. The Nebraska Medical Center has been on notice to help stand guard.

The U.S. State Department targeted the Med Center’s Bio-Containment Unit as a resource to help should it become necessary.

As that was announced in August, Dr. Angela Hewlett, an Infectious Disease Specialist with the Bio-Containment Unit, said, "We would provide supportive care to the patient, which again would be things like IV fluids, possibly blood products, antibiotics that may fight secondary infections that can develop with this illness but essentially what it is, is it is just provided support to that patient, whether that is mechanical or ventilation or having difficulty breathing, again hydration, that is really the essence of treating this illness."

The Bio-Containment Unit houses five rooms that fit two patients each. It is staffed with physicians, nurses and others who are on call 24 hours a day.


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The third American infected with Ebola in Liberia is being flown to a special isolation unit at The Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha for treatment.

NBC News sources say that International Christian mission organization SIM announced Thursday that missionary doctor Rick Sacra, recently infected with the Ebola virus while serving in Liberia, is being flown to Omaha for treatment.

SIM said in statement that Dr. Sacra is expected to arrive in Omaha Friday morning and begin treatment in the hospital's Biocontainment Patient Care Unit.

His wife, Debbie Sacra said in a news conference a doctor told her Rick is clearly sick, but that he was in good spirits and he walked onto the plane.

Federal health officials say this is the worst Ebola outbreak in modern history.

The Nebraska Medical Center has been on notice to help stand guard.