MARILYNN MARCHIONE, AP Chief Medical Writer
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 last Wednesday, he sought medical care Friday but was not admitted to the hospital until Sunday.
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 Ebola, said Dr. Tom 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. Call 800-CDC-INFO. State and local health officials in Texas also are working to trace any possible contacts.