Local officials had one-day notice before doctor exposed to Ebola flown to Frederick

The decision to fly an American physician into Frederick, out of the heart of the Ebola outbreak, was made with little input from local officials.

The State Department decided Sunday to fly the physician from Sierra Leone to Frederick Municipal Airport. The doctor’s identity is not known, but the person was exposed to the Ebola virus while volunteering for an aid organization.

The National Institutes of Health has not yet confirmed or denied if the physician has contracted the deadly disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus has taken more than 3,000 lives in West Africa.

The city has been working on a memorandum of understanding with NIH and Fort Detrick regarding procedures when the city’s airport is used to transport patients, Frederick Mayor Randy McClement said.

The memo was not yet completed Saturday when the city received the call from the State Department about transporting the physician, he said.

The memo is modeled on a procedure used by the National Interagency Confederation for Biological Research, a body that consists mostly of the research agencies at Fort Detrick.  …

No requirement exists to notify the Frederick County Health Department when a potentially infected person is transported into the area, said Dr. Barbara Brookmyer, county health officer.  …


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