A patient at a hospital in Dallas, Texas has tested positive for Ebola to become the first case ever diagnosed in the United States, Texas health officials stated.
According to a statement sent out Monday night by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. it said that the patient was being isolated based on his or her symptoms and recent travel history.
It was gathered from the spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, Carrie Williams, that specimens from the patient were tested by a state lab and confirmed Tuesday by a separate test by the Centers for Disease Control.
Confirming the situation during a press conference held in Dallas Tuesday afternoon, Tom Frieden, M.D., Director of the Center for Disease Control, said that the unnamed patient did not show any symptoms when leaving Liberia on 19 September or entering the U.S. on 20 September.
It was revealed that the patient sought treatment on 26 September and was admitted to a hospital on 28 September.
During his first visit to the hospital, he complained of illness but was released before returning Sept. 28 as his condition worsened. A hospital official said it wasn’t until then that they discovered he was in West Africa.
Dr. Edward Goodman with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital informed that there isn’t any more ZMapp available, which is an experimental drug that was used on two previous Ebola patients.
However, Frieden said the hospital is discussing if experimental treatments would be appropriate.
State health officials described the patient as seriously ill but was able to communicate and was hungry.
According to Dallas Fire-Rescue Assistant Chief Norman Seals, the Ebola patient was transported to the hospital by three crew members from Fire Station 37, who are now in reverse isolation at home.
He also stated that the ambulance that the Ebola patient traveled in is being quarantined, saying it was used 48 hours after the patient was transported to the hospital.
Meanwhile, Frieden stated that there was no risk to anyone on the airplane the patient came into the US because the man had no symptoms at the time of the flight.
CDC officials and doctors at the press conference emphasized that they believe the patient’s diagnosis will be controlled, and that the risk for an outbreak in Dallas is low.
However, officials said Tuesday there are no other suspected cases in Texas.
“It is certainly possible that someone who had contact with this individual, a family member or other individual, could develop Ebola in the coming weeks,” said Frieden. “But there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here,” he added.
It would be recalled that four American aid workers who became infected in West Africa have been flown back to the U.S. for treatment after they became sick. They were cared for in special isolation facilities at hospitals in Atlanta and Nebraska. Three have recovered.
Also, a U.S. doctor exposed to the virus in Sierra Leone is under observation in a similar facility at the National Institutes of Health.
The U.S. has only four such isolation units. Asked whether the Texas patient would be moved to one of those specialty facilities, Frieden said there was no need and virtually any hospital can provide the proper care and infection control.
Thompson said that unlike Africa, Dallas County has the infrastructure needed to deal with Ebola.
The World Health Organization, WHO, says the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 3,000 people.
Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with blood or bodily fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola, objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus and infected animals.