It’s official. The U.S. has its very first case of the Ebola virus. A man who came back from Liberia tested positive for the deadly virus at a hospital in Dallas. The man reportedly became sick days after he returned to Texas and wasn’t sick while he was on the plane from Liberia, reports PZFeed.com.
Officials with the Centers for Disease Control say they have put infection control measures in place at the hospital. They do not believe that Ebola will “spread widely” in connection with this case in Texas. They also said this one patient is the only known or suspected case of the Ebola virus in Texas right now.
Students monitored after contact with Ebola patient
An official with Dallas schools said today that five students from four different schools are also being monitored at their homes after they had contact with the Ebola patient. The CDC reminds the public that Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids or contaminated objects like needles. The agency also said that the deadly virus is not contagious until symptoms appear.
Reporter Janet St. James specified on Twitter that Dallas health officials are monitoring five children “in person.” She also said that “a dozen or more adults” are monitoring themselves and that none of them have been quarantined.
No Ebola symptoms in children
ABC News reports that school officials said the students who were exposed to the Ebola patient are not showing any symptoms. The CDC also said that they have an intense tracking process underway and are especially focusing on the patient’s family members and healthcare workers who have had contact with him. Officials are working to identify all of those who had contact with the patient and will monitor them for the next 21 days.
Dallas authorities activated the city’s Emergency Operations Center at Level 2: High Readiness. They said they’re evaluating between 12 and 18 people who so far have been confirmed to have had contact with the Ebola patient.
Testing others for Ebola
They said the three ambulance workers who brought the patient to the hospital tested negative for Ebola, although they will be monitored at home for the next three weeks. Because the man did not have any symptoms while he was on the plane home from Liberia, authorities do not believe anyone on the same plane as him have contracted the disease. The plane ride came about four to five days before he had his first Ebola symptoms.