A man in Germany suspected to have Ebola is being treated in a special isolation unit at the University Hospital in Düsseldorf, local media reported Monday. The man had reportedly spent time in Guinea, one of the West African countries affected in the outbreak of Ebola that began in early 2014.
The hospital said that the unit was designed to prevent any pathogens from being transmitted ouside, either by air or by waste water, and said that these systems ensured the "complete protection of patients, visitors and attending staff," according to Germany news agency Deutsche Wells. The patient is also being kept under high security and local health officials said the local population was not under threat. The patient's test results are expected to be released Monday afternoon local time.
More than 10,000 people out of 26,000 cases have died in the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, primarily in the countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, according to the World Health Organization.
This is not the first Ebola case to have appeared in Germany. The most recent one, in November 2014, was a Ugandan man with Ebola who was successfully treated for the virus at a hospital in Germany using a hemopurifier, or a device outside the body that filters blood and can remove viruses and other sources of infection. The treatment worked after the patient had multiple organ failures, according to the company that makes the device.
In October 2014, a 56-year-old medical worker with the United Nations died at a hospital in Leipzig after experimental drugs failed to treat him, the BBC reported. He had worked in Liberia, where he contracted the virus. Another aid worker, a Senegalese, was successfully treated for Ebola at a German hospital.
Ebola is a virus with symptoms of fever, muscle pains and a sore throat followed by vomiting and diarrhea. It can result in internal bleeding. The virus can be transmitted between people through direct contact or through contaminated bodily fluids. The bodies of those who died from the disease can also be infectious.