|Transmission electron micrograph of the Ebola virus|
|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention |
Update: 2:35 p.m. October 1
Update: On Wednesday afternoon Gov. Rick Perry announced that five children who attend Dallas schools had contact with the Dallas Ebola patient and are being monitored at home for any signs of the disease.
However, Perry used the press conference held at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital to caution Texans to stay calm. "The disease cannot be transmitted before having any symptoms," he said. "This is a disease that is not airborne and is substantially more difficult to contract than the common cold."
Plus, he noted, Texas is ready to handle this. "There are few places in the world better equipped to meet the challenge that is posed by this case," he said. "Professionals on every level of the chain of command know what to do to minimize this potential risk to the people of Texas and to this country for that matter."
On Tuesday afternoon, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health workers announced that Texas is home to the first case of Ebola confirmed in the United States.
At a news conference in Atlanta CDC director Tom Frieden downplayed widespread fears that the disease, which has already infected some 6,500 and killed over 3,000 people in West Africa, could reach epidemic levels in this country. The patient, who has not been identified, traveled from Liberia to visit family in Dallas earlier this month, officials confirmed. The man boarded a flight to the United States September 19, landed September 20, and first started to develop symptoms around the 24th, Frieden said.
The man was apparently first taken to Dallas' Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on September 26, but he was sent home with antibiotics. "[H]e returned in an ambulance to Texas Health Presbyterian two days later and was admitted," Bloomberg reports. He's now in intensive care at Dallas' Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, according to officials, who say they're working to track down and monitor anyone who had close contact with the man.
As news continues to break on the first confirmed Ebola case in the country, here are a few things you might want to know. More »