First U.S. Case of Ebola Diagnosed in Texas

First U.S. Case of Ebola Diagnosed in Texas

Ebola Virus, TEM – BY2124
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that an airline passenger who arrived in Dallas from Liberia on September 20, has been diagnosed with Ebola.  He did not present any symptoms while boarding the flight because the full incubation period for the disease after exposure is around 21 days.  Since the virus can only spread through direct contact with bodily fluids after symptoms develop, no other passengers on the flight would have been infected at the time.  However, the CDC is tracking down and monitoring family and friends who may have been in close contact with the patient when he became ill. 

As the outbreak of Ebola unfolded in West Africa, officials assumed the virus would inevitably make its way to American soil.  As a result, U.S. hospitals were already well prepared to safely handle cases that require isolation protocols for treating infectious diseases.  The virus is responsible for the deaths of over 3,000 people in Africa, with no proven vaccine or cure.  Two U.S. aid workers recovered after receiving an experimental vaccine, but current treatment mainly involves supportive care until the patient recovers on their own.

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