CDC confirms first case of Ebola diagnosed in U.S. - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

CDC confirms first case of Ebola diagnosed in U.S.

Posted: Updated:
BY MAGGIE FOX, NBC News

(NBC News) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the first patient to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States is at a hospital in Dallas. But they say there's "zero risk" he infected anyone else on his flight here and they're confident the virus will not spread widely in the United States.

Four other people with Ebola — all medical volunteers working in West Africa — have been evacuated to the U.S. for treatment, but this is the first case in a traveler. Three of them have recovered.

"I have no doubt that we will be able to stop this in the United States," CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden told a news conference.

"At this point there is zero risk of transmission on the flight. He was checked for fever before getting on the flight," Frieden said. "There is no reason to think that anyone who was on the flight he was on is at any risk."

Texas Health Presbyterian said in a statement late Monday that it had admitted a patient into strict isolation "based on the patient's symptoms and recent travel history." Officials said the patient was isolated soon after he came to the hospital.

Frieden said the patient was visiting family in the United States and left Liberia on an overnight flight Sept. 19th. He didn't get sick until Sept. 24th and Frieden says there's no chance he could have infected anybody on the flight.

"The patient developed symptoms days after returning to Texas from West Africa and was admitted into isolation on Sunday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas," the state health department said in a statement.

"The Texas Department of State Health Services is 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."

CDC is sending a team to Texas, including epidemiologists who are trained to track down and counsel anyone who may have been in contact with the patient while he was infectious.

CDC officials have said that most standard hospital infection control measures should be adequate to prevent the spread of the virus. Ebola is deadly but it's not necessarily easy to catch. It doesn't travel by air but is transmitted by direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has symptoms, such as vomit, diarrhea or blood.

Frieden had said to expect cases of Ebola in the United States among people traveling from West Africa. He has said it is unlikely to spread widely in the U.S.

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