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US Ebola Patient Deteriorates to Critical Condition

FILE - Workers must wear protective gear to care for patients with Ebola or other infectious disease in the NIH Clinical Center's high containment unit. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. National Institutes of Health)

An American health care worker being treated for Ebola deteriorated to critical condition on Monday.

The unnamed patient is being treated at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in suburban Washington, which shared the status report. The patient was flown to the clinic Friday from Sierra Leone, after testing positive for the Ebola virus. The patient, a clinician, had been volunteering with the medical charity Partners in Health at a treatment unit.

On Sunday, 10 health care workers who came in contact with the patient in Sierra Leone also were flown to the United States via noncommercial aircraft, Partners in Care said. All were staying near hospitals with high-level biocontainment units capable of treating Ebola, in case they became sick.

Reuters news agency said four were being monitored by doctors from the Nebraska Medical Center, and one of them had been admitted to its containment unit Sunday evening after showing symptoms. Most of those symptoms have subsided.

"At this point, this person has not tested positive for the Ebola virus," Reuters quoted Dr. Phil Smith, the biocontainment unit’s medical director, as saying.

The health care workers have voluntarily isolated themselves during the remainder of the 21-day Ebola incubation period, Partners in Health said.

Other clinicians are staying near the NIH center in Bethesda, Maryland, and Emery University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. All of the hospitals previously have treated patients with Ebola.

The deadly virus has killed 10,144 people, almost entirely in the West African nations of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, according to the World Health Organization’s latest report. At least 24,340 people have been infected with Ebola since the West African outbreak began in December 2013.