Ebola virus which has claimed many lives in African nations due to lack of proper treatment and medication has now reached soils of United States of America. A patient who has recently travelled from Liberia on September 19, reached US on September 20. He was completely healthy at the time of his travel but developed symptoms of the infection after 4-5 days of his stay. He has been admitted to a Dallas hospital.
Authorities have kept his identity and the details of mode of infection secret. There were no media briefing about the treatment that is being administered to him. The patient has been kept in ICU and in isolation. He was on a family visit to US and has been moving freely ever since his arrival. Even after the apparent symptoms of the disease, he still had contacts with some people before he was put in complete isolation. The authorities are finding ways to pick out these contacts. Even the health crew who transported the patient has also been kept in isolation. The authorities also confirmed how many other patients the ambulance carried after the transport of Ebola infected person. Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has duly stressed that there is no risk to public health and as all procedures were properly followed to decontaminate the ambulance. However, how far and wide the patient travelled in Dallas before being diagnosed is yet to be probed and checked to rule out any public health hazard.
Dr. Frieden finally added that “the bottom line here is that I have no doubt that we will control this importation or this case of Ebola so that it does not spread widely in this country”. Ebola causes viral hemorrhagic fever, which can affect multiple organ systems in the body and is often accompanied by bleeding. Early symptoms include sudden onset of fever, weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat, each of which can be easily mistaken early on for other ailments like malaria, typhoid fever and meningitis.
Ebola is spread by direct contact with someone sick with the virus. That means people on the patient’s flight are not thought to be at risk, as he did not begin to show symptoms until several days after arriving in the United States, Frieden said.