CDC Confirms First American Ebola Case In Dallas
9/30/2014 9:28:47 PM
September 30, 2014
By Riley McDermid, BioSpace.com Breaking News Sr. Editor
The first case of the deadly Ebola virus has been found in the United States, after a man who took a commercial flight from Liberia to Dallas on Sept. 20 has been confirmed to be infected, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Tuesday.
Ebola has killed 2,917 people and infected 3,346 others since the outbreak began in March in Africa. So far it has been contracted by at least four Americans abroad, all of whom were returned to the U.S. for medical attention and treated successfully.
The CDC said the patient sought medical help on Sept. 27 and was put in isolation on Sept. 28 and tests confirming the Ebola diagnosis came back Tuesday. The White House said President Obama was briefed about the patient by Tom Frieden, the director of the CDC.
Hospital officials also said the patient will not be given ZMapp, the experimental serum given to two American patients with a high-profile Ebola infection aid workers and who caught the virus in Africa and were later treated in the U.S.
Supplies of ZMapp have run out.
The man was visiting relatives in the U.S. and did not display signs of infection during his trip. He is the first confirmed case of Ebola outside of Africa during the current outbreak, although the disease has ravaged West African nations and set off panic alarms for health officials worldwide.
Frieden was a visible and widespread media presence on Tuesday following the news breaking, stressing universally that the disease can only be contracted by someone exhibiting symptoms of the disease and in touch with infectious bodily fluids.
Ebola is not contagious until symptoms which include sudden fever, fatigue, and headache appear. Symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure. The virus can be fatal in some outbreaks as much as 90 percent of the time, 50 percent is the average fatality rate for the virus overall.
Frieden said he was confident there would not be an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. "There is no doubt in my mind we will stop it here," he said.
The unnamed patient is being treated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where the head epidemiologist, Edward Goodman, said his team was ready to snuff out the disease.
“We have had a plan in place for some time now for a patient presenting with possible Ebola,” Goodman told reporters Tuesday. “Ironically, we had a meeting the week before of all the stakeholders who might be involved. We were well prepared to care for this patient.”
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