DALLAS – A Texas man just back from West Africa has been confirmed as having the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the U.S.
Authorities with the Centers for Disease Control revealed the finding Tuesday, two days after the unidentified patient arrived at a Dallas hospital with suspicious symptoms.
Officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas put the man into “strict isolation” and sent a blood specimen to the state public health lab for testing.
The CDC said results show the man has the deadly disease which has been linked to more than 3,000 recent deaths in Africa. According to the World Health Organization, there have been more than 6,500 cases confirmed in Africa, with Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone among the hardest hit.
Dr. Christopher Perkins with the Dallas County health department told reporters that the Texas man didn’t start showing symptoms until he arrived home.
“We know at this time this person was not symptomatic during travel but became symptomatic once arriving here and being home for several days,” said Perkins, according the Dallas Morning News. “So that decreases the threat that might be to the general population.”
CDC officials are scheduled to release more details within the hour.
The CDC has a team enroute to North Texas to help health officials re-trace the man's contacts since he has been back in the states.
Ebola is highly contagious and deadly, but only spread through contact with bodily fluids. Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson spent most of his day trying to calm the fears of North Texans.