On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that the first case of Ebola in the United States has been diagnosed, and the patient is currently being treated in an isolation unit at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. The man remains in critical condition at this time.
On September 19, the patient boarded a plane in Liberia and arrived in the U.S. the next day.
CDC Dr. Tom Frieden told reporters:
[The patient] had no symptoms when departing Liberia or entering this country. But four or five days later on the 24th of September, he began to develop symptoms. The next steps are basically threefold. First, to care for the patient … to provide the most effective care possible as safely as possible to keep to an absolute minimum the likelihood or possibility that anyone would become affected, and second, to maximize the chances that the patient might recover.
The man who was in Texas reportedly visiting relatives, actually came to the emergency room on the 26th, but was given antibiotics and released. He was admitted two days later as his condition worsened.
On Wednesday morning, Fox & Friends anchor, Peter Doocy, reported that the man is a “Liberian national.” Of course, Liberia is currently in the grips of an unprecedented Ebola outbreak, in which at least 1,830 people have died from the virus over the last few months, according to a CDC report.
While the CDC is quick to downplay the risk of a widespread Ebola outbreak on U.S. soil, it is not known how many people this patient came into contact with since landing in Dallas, and is likely impossible to discover. It also unknown at this time why the Obama administration has not banned all travel from Liberia, as well as the other countries in West Africa where Ebola is ravaging the populations.
U.S. airports currently have no system in place to screen travelers for Ebola.