Doctors in quarantine after Ebola scare
Two doctors from The Netherlands, Nick Zwinkels and Erdi Huizenga, who have been working in Sierra Leone at the lion Heart Foundation, and who may have contracted Ebola, are currently in quarantine in the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) after landing in The Netherlands on Sunday. They may return home later today, De Telegraaf reports.
On the flight back to their home country, the doctors were individually examined. They were also questioned about their physical state as well as that of the patients that they handled in Sierra Leone, who later died from Ebola. On the basis of these tests, the doctors have been placed in quarantine for 24 hours, De Telegraaf writes.
The National Institute for Health and Environment (RIVM) emphasizes that the quarantine measure is strictly for observation purposes. "The two Dutch doctors are not currently showing symptoms and are therefore not contagious. They will, however, be kept under watch for a period of 24 hours in specially designed isolation rooms, as a precaution", a spokesperson said. If signs of the virus show themselves in symptoms during this 24 hour period, the doctors will remain in hospital for treatment.
The doctors have said that they want to remain in isolation after being released from hospital care after 24 hours, which will be later today, according to Pien Bax, director of the Foundation, to the NOS. They do not want to expose family members to the disease, and will therefore limit contact. The doctors have been told that they are to keep a strict watch on their condition.
According to De Telegraaf, there are currently ten Ebola vaccines and medications in advanced stages of research. None of these medicines have been tested on humans, however. ZMapp has been used in two American patients, who seemed to perk up after taking the medicine, but whether their condition improved because of the medicine is unclear. A Spanish priest was also treated with the medicine, but later passed away. ZMapp stocks have run dry, and replenishing the stock will take two months, the paper writes.