Magazine article The Nation's Health

US Health Workers Fight Ebola Cases at Home, Abroad

Magazine article The Nation's Health

US Health Workers Fight Ebola Cases at Home, Abroad

Article excerpt

HEALTH OFFICIALS in the U.S. were fighting Ebola on two continents simultaneously in September after the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the nation was confirmed in Texas.

Even as U.S. health officials helped to control the ongoing epidemic in West Africa--where more than 7,400 cases and 3,400 deaths were reported as of Oct. 3--public health workers in the U.S. were tracking about 50 people who came into contact with a traveler who brought the disease to Dallas from Liberia.

The man was not symptomatic when he left Africa or arrived in the U.S., but became sick several days after arriving in Texas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Sept. 30. Health officials quickly began tracing people who might have been in contact with the man, monitoring them and isolating them where necessary. The man died Oct. 8.

The U.S. has strong infection control and public health systems that will help prevent Ebola from becoming an epidemic in America, said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. …

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