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    US Government confirms first case of Ebola

    October 01, 2014

    The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. was confirmed on Tuesday in a patient who recently travelled from Liberia to Dallas — a sign of the far-reaching impact of the out-of-control epidemic in West Africa.  The unidentified man was critically ill and has been in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital since Sunday,reported The Hindu quoting federal health officials. They would not reveal his nationality or age.

    Authorities have begun tracking down family and friends who may have had close contact with him and could be at risk for becoming ill. But officials said there are no other suspected cases in Texas.

     

    At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Director Tom Frieden said the man left Liberia on September 19, arrived the next day to visit relatives and started feeling ill four or five days later. He said it was not clear how the patient became infected.

     

    There was no risk to any fellow airline passengers because the man had no symptoms when he was travelling, Mr. Frieden said. Ebola symptoms can include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and bleeding, and can appear as long as 21 days after exposure to the virus. The disease is not contagious until symptoms begin, and it takes close contact with bodily fluids to spread.

     

    “The bottom line here is that I have no doubt we will control this importation, or this case of Ebola, so that it does not spread widely in this country,” Mr. Frieden told reporters. “It is certainly possible that someone who had contact with this individual, a family member or other individual, could develop Ebola in the coming weeks,” he added. “But there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here.”
     

    In Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama was briefed about the diagnosis in a call from Mr. Frieden, the White House said.

     

    Ebola is believed to have sickened more than 6,500 people in West Africa, and more than 3,000 deaths have been linked to the disease, according to the World Health Organization. But even those tolls are probably underestimates, partially because there are not enough labs to test people for Ebola.

     

    Two mobile Ebola labs staffed by American naval researchers arrived this weekend and will be operational this week, according to the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia. The labs will reduce the amount of time it takes to learn if a patient has Ebola from several days to a few hours. The U.S. military also delivered equipment to build a field hospital, originally designed to treat troops in combat zones. The 25-bed clinic will be staffed by American health workers and will treat doctors and nurses who have become infected.

     

    The U.S. is planning to build 17 other clinics in Liberia and will help train more health workers to staff them. Britain has promised to help set up 700 treatment beds in Sierra Leone, and its military will build and staff a hospital in that country. France is sending a field hospital and doctors to Guinea.

     

    Courtesy: The Hindu

    Last modified on Wednesday, 01 October 2014 11:54

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