(Bloomberg) — The first case of deadly Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. has been confirmed in Dallas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today in a statement.
The patient, who is being kept in isolation, was suspected of having the disease based on symptoms and travel history, the hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas, said in a statement earlier today.
The Dallas patient was being kept in isolation while medical officials awaited word from the CDC, the hospital said. Another suspected case was being evaluated at a National Institutes of Health facility, U.S. officials said.
The Ebola outbreak has been concentrated in three West Africa countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The outbreak there has infected 6,574 and killed 3,091 people so far, according to the CDC. U.S. public health officials have been isolating and testing travelers who returned from the region with symptoms of the disease.
The latest cases come after at least three American aid workers who were diagnosed with Ebola in Africa were evacuated to U.S. hospitals, treated and discharged. Twelve other patients were previously tested in the U.S., the CDC said.
There is no approved treatment for Ebola, though drugmakers are attempting to develop vaccines or medicines that could be used in this or a future outbreak. Current care involves isolating the patient so they can’t infect others, and providing supportive treatment such as intravenous fluids and antibiotics to fight opportunistic infections.
U.S. health officials have downplayed the chance of a major outbreak of the disease in the U.S., saying the country’s superior medical infrastructure would be able to quickly isolate the disease.
“It’s not a potential of Ebola spreading widely in the U.S.,” said Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, in a July 31 conference call with reporters. “That is not in the cards.”