The Slatest

Ebola Diagnosed in Dallas

CDC director Tom Frieden.


This post is being updated as new information becomes available.

A man in Dallas has been diagnosed with Ebola after traveling from West Africa, the Centers for Disease Control says. It’s the first case of a patient being diagnosed with the illness on American soil. CDC director Tom Frieden, speaking at a press conference at the organization’s Atlanta headquarters, said the man left Liberia—he is not believed to have been involved with disease-fighting efforts there—on Sept. 19 and arrived in the United States on Sept. 20 to visit family. He did not develop symptoms until Sept. 24 and was admitted to a hospital on Sept. 28. He is currently being treated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. A “handful” of individuals who may have been exposed to the disease are being monitored, Frieden says.

The Ebola virus is transmitted through bodily fluids and not through the air, a point that was emphasized by Frieden today. All three Americans who had previously contracted the disease (and were diagnosed while still in Africa) were treated successfully and released. Two (Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol) were given an experimental drug called ZMapp and the third (Rick Sacra) received a transfusion of Brantly’s blood.

Some human trials of an Ebola vaccine have already begun and others are expected to begin early next year. Tests of drugs for patients who are already infected may begin as soon as November.

More than 3,000 people have died during the disease’s West African outbreak, which is centered in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.

Here’s video of today’s press conference:

Correction, September 30, 2014: This post originally misstated that the patient had “returned” to the United States from Liberia. The patient’s country of residence has not been disclosed.