The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed today, through laboratory tests, the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Dallas, Texas from Liberia. The patient did not have symptoms when leaving West Africa, but developed symptoms approximately four days after arriving in the U.S. on Sept. 20.
“Ebola can be scary. But there’s all the difference in the world between the U.S. and parts of Africa where Ebola is spreading. The United States has a strong health care system and public health professionals who will make sure this case does not threaten our communities,” said CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “While it is not impossible that there could be additional cases associated with this patient in the coming weeks, I have no doubt that we will contain this.”
In better news, the CDC also stated yesterday that the Ebola outbreaks in Nigeria and Senegal are nearing a possible end. While these countries had very limited outbreaks, it is great to see that standard procedures and containment of outbreaks are possible.
The Ebola outbreak in Nigeria appears to be nearing a possible end due to a rapid response coordinated by Nigeria’s Emergency Operations Center with assistance from international partners, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The official end to an Ebola outbreak comes when two of the 21-day incubation periods for Ebola virus have elapsed without any new cases.
Due to national preparedness and prompt cross-border communication, Senegal avoided an Ebola epidemic after confirming its first case of the disease on August 29, 2014.