At a press conference today, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden said that a man was being treated for Ebola in Dallas. He is the first patient diagnosed with the disease in the U.S. since an outbreak began earlier this year in west Africa.
Frieden said that the patient had arrived from Liberia two weeks ago and was "visiting relatives in this country", but did not confirm his citizenship or residency status. He did not display symptoms until September 24, several days after his arrival.
The BBC reported that the unidentified patient is being kept in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, and that he was not an aid worker involved in treating the disease.
Up to twelve other people in the U.S. may have been exposed to the virus since his return, Frieden said. He added that the CDC believes no one on the same flight as the patient was in danger of contracting ebola, and that the CDC had prepared for this eventuality and was "stopping the disease in its tracks."
Patients already diagnosed with Ebola have been taken to the U.S. for treatment, but this marks the first occasion during the current outbreak where the disease was diagnosed outside of Africa.
The Dallas Morning News broke the news earlier today concerning the patient, forcing the CDC to confirm the case.
Ebola has struck regions of Africa, where standards of public sanitation and medical care are relatively poor. The Washington Post explains what Ebola is and what it does to our bodies. More than 3,000 people have died during the outbreak, mostly in Liberia, and several aid workers have received treatment in the U.S. after falling ill.
Scant details were given of the Texas patient, but a single case does not constitute the spread the disease within the developed world.
According to reports, the CDC tried to keep the lid on this today with a news embargo, but that it was broken by those it shared the news with. Good to know for the inevitable zombie apocalypse!