USA – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the Ebola virus outbreak in US after a patient was diagnosed in Dallas Texas showing symptoms of the deadly virus.
“This is the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S., and the first case of this strain of Ebola diagnosed outside Africa,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said at a news conference Tuesday evening.
According to him, the male patient recently traveled to Liberia, leaving the country on September 19 and arrived in U.S. the following day. He was not experiencing symptoms at the time, and therefore would not have been contagious to any other travelers.
“There is zero risk of transmission on the flight,” Frieden said. “Ebola doesn’t spread before someone gets sick, and he didn’t get sick until four days after he got off the airplane. So we don’t believe there was any risk to anyone on the flight.” He declined to release any details about the man’s itinerary or flight numbers.
The patient sought care on the 26th, was admitted on the 28thto a restrict isolation unit at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas for a series of test of Ebola after inhibiting symptomsand was confirmed positive on the 30th, Frieden explained, adding the man is “critically ill.”
“We will contact anyone we think has any likelihood of having had contact with the patient when he was infectious,” Frieden said, presumably starting with the relatives the patient was visiting. He said the process of tracing those contacts was still in the early stages.
Ebola symptoms generally appear between two and 21 days after infection, meaning there is a significant window during which an infected person can escape detection, allowing them to travel.
Frieden sought to reassure the public, stating “I have no doubt that we will control this importation, this case of Ebola, so it will not spread widely in this country.” He acknowledged it was possible that “a handful” of others in close contact with the patient may have been exposed. He said those people would be tracked down, and he expressed confidence the disease would be contained. “I have no doubt we will stop it here,” he said.
Meanwhile, US health officials and lawmakers have been bracing for the eventuality that a patient would arrive on US shores undetected, testing the preparedness of the nation’s healthcare system.
The Texas Department of State Health Services said it was working with the CDC, the local health department and the hospital “to investigate the case and help prevent transmission of the disease.”
SHERYMAE P. SESO
OJT/ LNU ABCOM