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Out of Africa: Ebola diagnosed in the US

By Wednesday, 01 October 2014 17:41 0
Dr. Thomas Frieden - Dr. Thomas Frieden - Cordon Press

THE world’s first known case of the Ebola virus to be diagnosed outside of Africa during the recent outbreak has been discovered in the US.

An identified patient was admitted to the Texas Health Presbyterian hospital in Dallas on Sunday, September 28.

According to sources, the patient travelled from Liberia in West Africa to the US on September 19 to visit family, and it was not until several days later that symptoms of the deadly virus began to present themselves.

The American Centres for Disease Control (CDC) announced that the patient had been placed under strict quarantine, and was being treated in isolation.

Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, said: “I have no doubt that we will control this case of Ebola so that it does not spread widely in this country.”

Since March’s outbreak of the virus, Ebola has ravaged many countries in West Africa. Liberia, where this patient has come from, together with Sierra Leone and Guinea, are the three countries to have been most affected by the epidemic. Up to now, at least 3,000 people have been killed by the disease.

Although Ebola-sufferers have been treated in the US, the UK and in Spain over the last couple of months, this is the first time that the disease has been diagnosed outside of the African continent.

Frieden said: “This is the first patient diagnosed outside of Africa to our knowledge with this particular strain of Ebola.” 

In a statement, the White House issued a statement saying: “The president and director Frieden discussed the stringent isolation protocols under which the patient is being treated as well as ongoing efforts to trace the patient’s contacts to mitigate the risk of additional cases.”

In the coming weeks, family members and those who have come into contact with the patient will be monitored for signs of the virus. There is also talk of the patient undergoing experimental Ebola treatment.

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