The ebola virus has now come to America. God willing it will be contained and treated.
Up to 12 people could be infected with Ebola in Texas including as many as five children, it was revealed today, as health officials scramble to contain the deadly virus following the first diagnosis on U.S. soil.
Dr Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview with ABC News on Wednesday that the male Ebola patient’s family and EMTs at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who came in contact with him may be infected.
The man, who flew from Liberia in West Africa to Dallas, Texas on September 20, is said to be critically ill and has been kept in isolation since Sunday.
However he was in the U.S. for almost a week before being sequestered.
The patient showed no symptoms of the disease while traveling but began to develop signs on September 24 and sought medical care two days later – but was dismissed with antibiotics.
Two days later he was placed in the isolation unit at Texas Presbyterian. It raises the frightening prospect that he was mixing freely with others for a full four days while showing symptoms of the virus – the time when Ebola is most contagious.
CDC officials are now going door-to-door to find out who may have come in contact with the man while he was contagious with Ebola.
The ambulance which transported him to the hospital has been cordoned off. There are concerns after it was used to move patients for two days after the Ebola patient but hospital officials have reassured citizens that it was properly sterilized.
The man arrived in the U.S. on September 20 from the West African region, where the disease has been rapidly spreading since its outbreak last December.
There is believed to be no risk to anyone who traveled on the same flight from Liberia because he did not have any symptoms at the time. The virus is not contagious until symptoms develop and is then transmitted via bodily fluids.