Top health officials have confirmed the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States, saying a patient who recently travelled to Liberia has the disease and is being treated in isolation at a Texas hospital.
The most recent outbreak of Ebola has claimed more than 3,000 lives in West Africa, and Liberia has been particularly hard hit.
Edward Goodman, an epidemiologist at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, said Tuesday the patient is ill and being seen by “highly trained, competent specialists” under intensive care.
Doctors and health officials couldn’t release more details about the patient, but they did note that there are no other known cases in Texas.
According to Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the patient left Liberia on Sept. 19 and arrived in the U.S. the next day.
Ebola symptoms can include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and bleeding, and can appear as long as 21 days after exposure to the virus. The disease is not contagious until symptoms begin, and it takes close contact with bodily fluids to spread.
The patient had “no symptoms” when leaving Liberia or entering the U.S., but began to develop symptoms around Sept. 24. Two days later the patient sought care, Frieden said, and was admitted to hospital on Sunday.
Health officials are tracing the patient’s contacts, but Frieden reiterated that Ebola does not spread from someone who is not infectious.
“It does not spread from someone who doesn’t have fever and other symptoms,” he said.
Testing for Ebola is highly accurate, the CDC director said after confirming the diagnosis.
“The bottom line here is I have no doubt that we will control this importation, or this case of Ebola, so that it does not spread widely in this country,” he said, adding that it is possible that someone who had contact with the patient could develop Ebola.
“But there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here.”
((Sourced from CBC))