The Centers for Disease Control confirmed Tuesday a person in Dallas contracted the Ebola virus, becoming the first case diagnosed in the United States. The patient, whose name was withheld, is being held in isolation at a hospital in North Texas for evaluation.
Health officials at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas Tuesday released a statement, which reads in part:
"A Texas hospital patient has tested positive for Ebola, making the patient the first case diagnosed in the United States. The test was conducted at the state public health laboratory in Austin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the positive result.
"The patient is an adult with a recent history of travel to West Africa. The patient developed symptoms days after returning to Texas from West Africa and was admitted into isolation on Sunday. ...
"The Texas Department of State Health Services is working with the CDC, the local health department and the hospital to investigate the case and ... prevent transmission of the disease. The hospital has implemented infection control measures to help ensure the safety of patients and staff."
The patient sought treatment six days after arriving in Texas on Sept. 20, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told reporters, Reuters reported.
Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson told KDFW, Dallas, that an investigation into the patient’s movements prior to contracting the illness would be undertaken in hopes of quelling fears of an outbreak in the U.S.
“This is not Africa,” Thompson told WFAA, Dallas. “We have a great infrastructure to deal with an outbreak.”
American doctor Kent Brantley, originally from Fort Worth, contracted the disease in July while working as a physician in Liberia. Brantley made a full recovery after being evacuated from West Africa to the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.