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VIDEO: Officials Confirm First Ebola Case Diagnosed In US

Health officials say a patient at a Dallas hospital who has tested positive for Ebola arrived in Texas from Liberia earlier this month and showed no symptoms while on the plane.


The CDC has confirmed the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States. The patient is being treated at a Dallas hospital after traveling earlier this month from Liberia.

 

Health officials say a patient at a Dallas hospital who has tested positive for Ebola arrived in Texas from Liberia earlier this month and showed no symptoms while on the plane.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden said Tuesday that officials “don’t believe there is any risk to anyone who was on the flight at that time.”

Frieden says the patient came to the U.S. to visit family and arrived on Sept. 20. The patient sought care last Friday and has been hospitalized in isolation since the weekend.

Doctors here in Houston say hospitals have been preparing for a local case of Ebola. Dr. Scott Lee is an infectious disease specialist at UTMB in Galveston. He says they are ready, because the Ebola virus is stored in locked laboratories on that campus, and scientists there do research on the virus and possible treatments. 

“For years we’ve had the possibility that one of our researchers might accidentally get exposed, so we’ve had the algorithms in place. We’ve actually had simulations and gone to conferences and done the things we need to do to make sure we’re totally up to speed on this.”

Lee says UTMB has been reviewing the plan and making sure there is enough protective equipment like eye goggles on hand right now should an ebola case surface in Houston.

But he says the isolation procedures are not very different from what a patient would undergo if they had the flu or measles.

State health officials say no other cases are suspected in Texas.

The patient is the first case of the disease to be diagnosed in the United States.

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