The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of Ebola diagnosed on US soil on Tuesday. Here’s what we know about that patient from a press conference the CDC held Tuesday afternoon.
The patient is male.
He is currently in isolation and in intensive care at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, and is “critically ill.”
The hospital is in conversation with the family about the possible use of experimental treatments.
He was not involved in fighting Ebola on the ground, as far as the CDC knows.
The patient flew from Liberia on September 19 and arrived in the US on September 20 with no symptoms and no fever.
Patients on that flight shouldn’t be worried since Ebola isn’t contagious until you start showing symptoms, and is only transmitted via bodily fluids.
He was visiting and staying with family who live in the US.
He started showing symptoms four days after landing in the US.
He began to develop symptoms on September 24, first sought care on September 26. He wasn’t admitted to the hospital and returned to his family’s home, where symptoms worsened.
He returned to the hospital and was admitted on September 28.
A Texas state laboratory confirmed that the patient had Ebola September 30 at 1:22 pm local time, and that result was later confirmed by the CDC.
The number of exposures the patient had while symptomatic was only “a handful,” primarily family members and a small number of others. The CDC and local health officials say things are going well as they try to track down all possible contacts so they can be monitored and isolated if they develop a fever. They will be monitored for 3 weeks.
“We have no other suspected cases in the state of Texas at this time,” the state health commissioner confirmed during the press conference.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has infected 6,574 people and killed more than 3,000, making it far larger than all previous Ebola outbreaks combined. The hardest-hit countries are Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. There were also cases in Nigeria and Senegal, but those countries appear to have contained the disease’s spread, the CDC announced on Tuesday.
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