Friday 6 December 2019

First case of Ebola in US confirmed

Officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said the unidentified patient is being kept in isolation
Officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said the unidentified patient is being kept in isolation

Press Association and Reuters

A patient being treated at a Dallas hospital has tested positive for Ebola, federal health officials have confirmed.

The case announced by the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) is the first Ebola case diagnosed in the United States.

The patient had recently traveled to Liberia, West Africa and developed symptoms several days after returning to Texas, state officials said.

Officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said the unidentified patient is being kept in isolation.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said it was working with the CDC, the local health department and the hospital "to investigate the case and help prevent transmission of the disease."

"The hospital has implemented infection control measures to help ensure the safety of patients and staff," the statement said.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said he had no doubt that local and federal health authorities could contain the potential spread of the deadly virus in the country.

"It is certainly possible someone who had contact with this individual could develop Ebola in the coming weeks," Frieden told a press conference. "I have no doubt we will stop this in its tracks in the United States."

President Barack Obama has been briefed about the case, the White House said on Tuesday.

The hospital had announced a day earlier that the patient's symptoms and recent travel indicated a case of Ebola, the virus that has killed more than 3,000 people across West Africa and infected a handful of Americans who have travelled to that region.

The CDC has said 12 other people in the US have been tested for Ebola since July 27. Those tests came back negative.

The National Institutes of Health recently admitted an American doctor exposed to the virus while volunteering in Sierra Leone. Four other patients have been treated at hospitals in Georgia and Nebraska.

According to the CDC, Ebola symptoms can include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and bleeding, and can appear as long as 21 days after exposure to the virus.

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