First case of Ebola is diagnosed in U.S.; patient being treated in Dallas hospital

Oct. 1, 2014

The first person to be diagnosed with Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the United States is critically ill and being treated in an isolation unit at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. The man, whose nationality has not been revealed, traveled from Liberia to Texas on September 19 to visit family. He reports experiencing symptoms on September 24, and was admitted to the hospital on September 28. Two days later, he tested positive for Ebola.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials stressed that Ebola does not become contagious until the patient is symptomatic—and therefore the other passengers on his flight are not at risk. People with whom he had close contact after he became symptomatic are at risk, and health officials are conducting rigorous contact tracing. CDC director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, characterizes the number of people who are being monitored for possible exposure as “a handful.”

Frieden told reporters, “I have no doubt we will control this importation, this case of Ebola, so that it does not spread….It is certainly possible that someone who had contact with this individual, a family member or other individual, could develop Ebola in the coming weeks. But there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here.” Learn more from a New York Times report.

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