5 things to know about Ebola in the United States

SHARE 5 things to know about Ebola in the United States

Health officials on Tuesday announced the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States — a man isolated in intensive care at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

Five things to know about the case:

WHEN AND HOW IT HAPPENED

Health officials say they don’t know how the man was infected but he flew from the West African country of Liberia, where the outbreak is ongoing, on Sept. 19 and arrived to visit relatives in the U.S. a day later. His symptoms started around Sept. 24, he sought medical care on the 26th but was not admitted to the hospital until Sept. 28.

RISK TO FELLOW TRAVELERS

“Ebola doesn’t spread till someone gets sick, and he didn’t get sick for four days” after getting off the plane, so officials are not seeking out fellow passengers for signs of illness, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus does not spread through the air — only through close contact with bodily fluids from a sick person, he stressed.

RISK TO PEOPLE IN DALLAS

Several family members and maybe a few community people are being monitored for possible risk — “handful is the right characterization” for how many, Frieden said.

HOW LONG RISK LASTS

People will be watched for fever or other possible signs for 21 days.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU’RE AT RISK

Contact the CDC, Frieden said. State and local health officials in Texas also are working to trace any possible contacts.

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