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U.S announces first Ebola case

U.S announces first Ebola case

The United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed the first Ebola case diagnosed in the country.

This marks the first domestic appearance of the deadly virus that has ravaged swaths of continental Africa.

The Ebola epidemic has overwhelmed public health workers in three West African countries, one of which was the likely site of infection of the first American case.

At least for now, the incident remains isolated. However, CDC officials say the virus incubated here in the U.S for at least a few days, and others may have been exposed.

The as-yet unidentified patient is located in Dallas, officials say, effectively confirming a statement issued on Monday by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. The organization said that an unnamed patient was being tested for Ebola and had been placed in “strict isolation” due to the patient’s symptoms and recent travel history.

On Tuesday, CDC Director Tom Frieden said the patient in question was traveling through Liberia, where he may have contracted the disease. He entered the U.S on September 20, after which he sought care. It is unclear whether the man is a U.S. citizen, or a Liberian national visiting friends or relatives.

“There may be a small outbreak because he did walk around with symptoms,” said Debra Spicehandler, an infectious disease expert at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, NY. “So we may see a few more cases related to him.”

Frieden attempted to assuage concerns about Ebola’s contagious effect, saying that the virus was only spread through direct contact, and was not airborne. He vowed that officials would contain a potential spread.

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