The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the first case of Ebola that’s been diagnosed in the United States.
CDC spokesman Tom Skinner told The Post that the case was confirmed but did not provide any additional details. The CDC will hold a press conference at 5:30 p.m. in Atlanta to discuss the case and the CDC’s response.
The Dallas-Fort Worth CBS affiliate reported that the positive test came in Texas. On Monday, a patient admitted by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas was placed in strict isolation and was being evaluated for a potential Ebola infection “based on the patient’s symptoms and recent travel history,” the hospital said in a statement.
The hospital’s statement did not say what symptoms the patient was displaying, or where the unidentified person had traveled, although the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history is centered in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, where it has killed more than 3,000 people and infected thousands of others. There is a separate outbreak in Congo.
The Dallas hospital said it is “following all federal Centers for Disease Control and Texas Department of Heath recommendations to ensure the safety of patients, hospital staff, volunteers, physicians and visitors.” Test results are expected from the CDC on Tuesday, the statement said.
Zachary Thompson, director of the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department, told the local CBS affiliate that the patient had been in an area where the Ebola virus exists.
“With what we’ve seen in the media and how deadly the Ebola virus is, it is a concern,” Thompson said.
No Ebola cases had been confirmed in the United States previously, although several American doctors and aid workers who were infected in West Africa have returned home for treatment. One of them, Richard Sacra, was discharged last week from a Nebraska hospital.
Days later, the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda admitted an American physician who was exposed to the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone.
J. Freedom du Lac is the editor of The Post’s general assignment news desk. He was previously a Local enterprise reporter and, before that, the paper’s pop music critic.
Elahe Izadi is a general assignment national reporter for The Washington Post. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @ElaheIzadi.
Sarah Larimer is a general assignment reporter for the Washington Post.
Brady Dennis is a national reporter for The Washington Post, focusing on food and drug issues.