CDC confirms first Ebola case in United States, patient in Dallas hospital
DALLAS, Texas – The CDC confirmed the United States has its first confirmed case of the Ebola virus.
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas said a patient has been placed in “strict isolation” due to the patient’s symptoms and recent travel history.
Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the CDC, said the patient had been in Liberia before being diagnosed with Ebola in the United States.
Frieden says the patient arrived in the United States on Sept. 20 but did not have any symptoms.
Around Sept. 24, he developed symptoms and sought care two days later.
On Sept. 28, the man was admitted to the hospital.
At this time, Frieden says the patient is “critically ill” and they do not believe that he was involved in the response to Ebola.
Dr. Goodman says the patient is in intensive care.
Crew members who transported the patient to the hospital have also been isolated, the chief of staff for Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told CNN. None have shown symptoms of the disease so far.
In recent months, a handful of American doctors have become ill after working to treat patients in West Africa for Ebola.
However, experts say they do not believe that was the case for this patient.
Frieden says they are trying to identify people who had contact with the patient so that Ebola does not spread.
However, they believe there are only “a handful” of people who may have been exposed to the virus, consisting of family members.
Frieden says the patient was visiting family “who live in this country,” leading some to believe the man is not an American.
He says other people on the flight are not at risk because the patient was not infectious at that time.
“We will control this importation, or this case of Ebola, so that it does not spread widely in this country,” Frieden said.
David Lakey, M.D., commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said there are “no other suspected cases” of Ebola in Texas at this time.
“We are committed to keeping Texas safe,” Lakey said.
Dr. Edward Goodman, with the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, says they have had a plan in place for some time in case a patient started showing Ebola symptoms, saying they were well-prepared for this type of incident.
Frieden says many hospitals across the country are able to treat patients with Ebola.
He says the virus is easy to kill by washing your hands and not mixing bodily fluids.
The virus has killed more than 3,000 people across West Africa.
It has infected a handful of Americans who have traveled to that region.
On Monday, Texas Health Resources released the following statement on the patient:
“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.”