CDC confirms first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. — patient returned from trip to Liberia and is being treated in Dallas
First case of Ebola diagnosed in U.S. after infected man arrived from West Africa: CDC
A male patient being treated at a Dallas, Texas hospital has tested positive for the deadly virus after arriving from Liberia on Sept. 20. Health officials say those who may have flown with him are likely not at risk of infection due to the timing of his symptoms.
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Tom Frieden announced Tuesday that a patient who recently returned to the U.S. from Liberia has been diagnosed as having the Ebola virus.
The first case of Ebola has been diagnosed in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed.
An unidentified male patient in Texas who recently arrived from Liberia in West Africa is currently being treated for the deadly virus at a Dallas hospital, said CDC’s Director, Dr. Tom Frieden.
The patient began to show symptoms several days after flying into the U.S. on Sept. 20 and was therefore likely not infectious during air travel since it’s not transmittable until then, he said.
“Individuals may travel before having any symptoms,” he assured.
Around the Sept. 24 the patient began to develop symptoms and initially sought care on the 26th before being admitted to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on the 28th.
The virus is only transmittable through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids of someone infected (including but not limited to urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen) or objects contaminated with the virus, according to the CDC. It is not spread by air, water or generally through food.
Frieden dodged questions on whether the patient is a U.S. citizen, only saying that he was visiting family in Texas.
Health officials are now working to locate others who may have come in physical contact with him while narrowing in on the patient’s family and a couple specific individuals in his community, said Frieden. If determined to be at risk, they will be isolated for 21 days to see if they develop a fever and other symptoms.
Monday night the Dallas Presbyterian hospital publicly revealed that it had admitted a patient into strict isolation “based on the patient’s symptoms and recent travel history,” the hospital said in a release.
The bottom line here is that I have no doubt that we will control this case of Ebola so it does not spread widely in this country.
“We have had a plan in place for some time in the event of a patient presenting with possible Ebola,” said the hospital’s head epidemiologist, Dr. Edward Goodman. “Ironically enough in the week before … we had a meeting with all the stakeholders on the care of such a patient and because of that we were well prepared to deal with this crisis.”
Dr. David Lakey, Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said they were certified on Aug. 22 to do Ebola testing.
“The bottom line here is that I have no doubt that we will control this case of Ebola so it does not spread widely in this country,” said Frieden.
Tuesday’s shock diagnosis follows the treatment of four American aid workers at hospitals in Georgia and Nebraska after contracting the virus overseas in parts of Africa.
The National Institutes of Health in Maryland also recently admitted an American doctor exposed to the virus while volunteering in Sierra Leone.
As of Sept. 23, there have been 6,574 cases and 3,091 deaths resulting from the virus that has no cure, according to the CDC’s records.
The 2014 outbreak is the largest in history and the first Ebola epidemic the world has ever known.
“Although the risk of an Ebola outbreak in the United States is very low, CDC and partners are taking precautions to prevent this from happening,” the CDC states on their website.