Latest Update Sept. 30, 2014: The CDC has confirmed a person in Dallas definitely has the Ebola virus.
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas hospital has a patient in isolation as they evaluate them for potential exposure to the Ebola virus.
Officials with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas released the following statement Monday night:
“Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas has admitted a patient into strict isolation to be evaluated for potential Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) based on the patient’s symptoms and recent travel history. The hospital is following all Centers for Disease Control and Texas Department of Heath recommendations to ensure the safety of patients, hospital staff, volunteers, physicians and visitors. The CDC anticipates preliminary results tomorrow.”
The patient’s travel history and specific symptoms remain unclear, but it is said to involve a high fever and vomiting. The name of the patient has not been released.
CBS 11 News spoke with Dallas County Health and Human Services director Zachary Thompson, who confirmed that the patient had been in the West Africa area where the Ebola virus exists. “Looking at the travel history is the first indicator, and then the next step is [treatment or non-treatment] once we get lab results,” he said.
Thompson definitely felt that there should be a heightened sense of awareness in North Texas, based on what has happened internationally. “With what we’ve seen in the media and how deadly the Ebola virus is, it is a concern,” he said.
Thompson stressed that there are certain procedures that will be followed if tests for the patient come back positive. “We [health professionals] all had been planning to look at what our next steps are if there is a confirmed case,” Thompson said. “Again, we have to do the public health follow up to see what contacts, where this individual has gone since they arrived here in Dallas. There are a number of things that have to be looked at.”
The CDC is bringing a team to North Texas on Tuesday just in case it is determined that the patient is infected with the Ebola virus.
As far as possible infection to others here in North Texas, Thompson said, “The key point is, if there’s been no transmission, blood, secretion, any type of bodily fluids by the infected person to someone else, then that risk is low to none.”
Should Dallas County residents be worried? Thompson discussed this with KRLD’s Emily Trube.
The Ebola virus has killed more than 3,000 people across West Africa and infected several Americans who have traveled to the region, including Fort Worth doctor Kent Brantly, who contracted the disease while doing missionary work in Liberia. Four infected patients have returned to the United States in specially outfitted planes — three were treated in Atlanta and the fourth in Omaha. An American physician who was exposed to the virus, but not infected, was flown to Maryland over the weekend.
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