Wednesday, October 1, 2014

First domestic Ebola case diagnosed in US

Reuters / Stringer
RT | Sep 30, 2014

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed on Tuesday that the first domestic case of Ebola was diagnosed in the United States of America.

On Monday, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas 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, according to the hospital’s statement.

By Tuesday afternoon, the CDC received preliminary blood test results back, confirming that the patient was struck with the deadly disease marked by hemorrhagic fever. The victim had recently traveled to Liberia, a CDC spokesman told AFP.

“We [health professionals] all had been planning to look at what our next steps are if there is a confirmed case,” Dallas County Health and Human Services director Zachary Thompson said to KTVT Monday night. “Again, we have to do the public health follow up to see what contacts, where this individual has gone since they arrived here in Dallas. There are a number of things that have to be looked at.”

Thompson reminded North Texans who may have come into contact with the patient that the disease, while contagious, is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids. “The key point is, if there’s been no transmission, blood, secretion, any type of bodily fluids by the infected person to someone else, then that [infection] risk is low to none.”

On Tuesday, Thompson further sought to calm fears in Dallas. "This is not Africa," Thompson told WFAA. "We have a great infrastructure to deal with an outbreak."

The CDC is dispatching a team to Texas in response to the preliminary Ebola diagnosis.

According to statistics released by the CDC in conjunction with the World Health Organization, the virus has infected 6,574 people in West Africa and killed 3,091 of them. On Friday, the WHO warned that the figures “vastly underestimate the true scale of the epidemic.” The deadly virus is ravaging parts of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with smaller outbreaks in Nigeria and Senegal. The situation in Senegal, where the disease arrived at the end of August, remains stabilized, the WHO announced in mid-September.

2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa - Outbreak Distribution Map
(US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

No comments:

Post a Comment