Ebola In The United States: First Patient Diagnosed

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The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is one of the worst in our time. Thousands of people have been killed by the virus and hundreds of others infected. Healthcare workers have been working hard to quarantine the sick and prevent the spread of the disease, but they have also warned that Ebola could spread to other countries if an infected person were to get on a plane.

When two American healthcare workers became ill while treating patients in West Africa, they were flown back to the United States for treatment. Many people feared they would bring the disease with them, but healthcare workers ensured everyone that they were safe and that Ebola was not going to make it to the United States.

Unfortunately, Ebola did find its way to the United States and the first diagnosis was given to a man who flew to Texas from Liberia. The man was admitted to a Dallas hospital with suspicious symptoms and doctors isolated the man while they waited for blood samples to be tested.

The blood tests confirmed that the man was indeed infected with the Ebola virus and doctors began treatment immediately.

“He is ill, he is under intensive care, he's being seen by highly trained, competent specialists, and the health department is helping us in tracing any family members that might have been exposed," said Dr. Edward Goodman with Texas Health Dallas, at a news conference on Tuesday.

Officials refused to release the man's name and said that he had been visiting and staying with relatives. They did not say if he is American or was visiting from another country.

“The patient was visiting family members and staying with family members who live in this country,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC director, said at the news conference.

The team responsible for treating the patient believes that he was only in contact with very few people and are fairly confident that he did not spread the disease to others.

They are hoping to contain the virus so it can not spread to anyone else.

“While it is not impossible that there could be additional cases associated with this patient in coming weeks, I have no doubt that we will contain this,” Frieden said. “... as long the outbreak continues in Africa we need to be on our guard.”