On Tuesday afternoon, the CDC confirmed the U.S.' first Ebola case. The patient is currently in Dallas, Texas, according to the CDC. While four Americans have been struck with Ebola in West Africa and brought home to the U.S., this is the first case of a patient being diagnosed with Ebola inside the U.S. border. In a press conference Tuesday, CDC director Tom Frieden said that the patient returned to the U.S. from Liberia on Sept. 19-20, and first exhibited symptoms on Sept. 26.
"It does not appear" that the patient was there as an aid worker, Frieden added, and they are "critically ill."
Frieden also revealed that the patient was tested at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, and the case was confirmed just after 1 p.m. On Monday night, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital released a statement confirming that a patient was being tested for the virus.
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas has admitted a patient into strict isolation to be evaluated for potential Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) based on the patient’s symptoms and recent travel history. The hospital is following all Centers for Disease Control and Texas Department of Heath recommendations to ensure the safety of patients, hospital staff, volunteers, physicians and visitors. The CDC anticipates preliminary results tomorrow.
The CDC has sent a team to Dallas. Four patients in a handful of U.S. states had previously been tested for Ebola, but all had tested negative.
The difference between this case and previous cases of Americans being diagnosed with Ebola is that the patient was not isolated in the interim between being infected and being diagnosed. The four Americans diagnosed in West Africa were kept isolated while traveling from West Africa to the U.S., and so the risk of passing on the virus to others inside the U.S. was almost nonexistent.
The outbreak has killed more than 3,000 people in West Africa, making it the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
Last week, the CDC predicted that unless drastic measures were taken to curb Ebola's spread, it could infect up to 1.4 million people in West Africa by January.
While Ebola is a deadly virus, it's not a very contagious one; it spreads only through bodily fluids.
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