NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – CBSDFW.COM has learned new information about the first Ebola case ever diagnosed on American soil. A CBS 11 News crew was there as the first member from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention touched down in North Texas, to assist with improving the patient’s condition and containing the illness.
Tuesday night we also learned that three first responders, who came in contact with the now known to be infected man, have been isolated in their homes.
The patient himself remains in an isolation section of the Intensive care Unit at is in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
The first team member from the CDC arrived in Dallas around 7 p.m. on a flight from Atlanta.
From Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, CDC Public Health Preparedness and Response spokesman David Daigle talked with CBS 11 News about the next steps in the local Ebola case. Daigle said another 10 team members are on the way into town Tuesday night. They’ll convene early Wednesday morning with local and state health officials. Then begins the contact phase of the CDC investigation.
“We have senior epidemiologists—what I’d call the disease detective type—the guys that are going to go door-to-door checking on anybody who might have had contact with this patient, and seeing if it merits further attention,” said Daigle.
Daigle would not specify which neighborhoods the patient may have visited while in Dallas. “In addition we have someone coming up from quarantine and migration. Extra control folks, all on this team, pitching in tomorrow,” he said.
Daigle says it is too early to tell how long the CDC will be in Dallas; much of it depends on what is needed in cooperation with local and state health agencies. But he did say, “I feel really good about the efforts that were made thus far.”
According to Daigle, the health institute does have the flight path the patient took to get from West Africa to Dallas. While other travelers on those flights are not believed to be at risk, Daigle does not know if the CDC team has notified those passengers.
The CDC team will work with Dallas County and state health officials.
For the last few months, the CDC has guided flight crews, first responders, and customs agents on how to look for travelers with symptoms and the proper procedure on reporting that information to the CDC.
Now, as more screenings will inevitably be needed, it’s just one more thing the CDC is working on.
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