A Dallas resident who recently traveled to Africa has been hospitalized. Their symptoms have raised concerns among health officials that they may have contracted the highly contagious Ebola virus. The individual is currently being held in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
The hospital has not released the identity or gender of the citizen who may have Ebola, nor are they divulging to the public exactly which African country they recently visited. Still, many other residents of Dallas have been worried that they may have come in contact with the patient at the grocery store or on the street.
Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zach Thompson urged folks not to be worried about a possible Ebola patient in the U.S. and to go about their days as usual. Though the virus has claimed over 3,000 lives in West Africa since the start of this summer’s outbreak, it can only be transmitted through the contact of bodily fluids. Still, a handful of health workers, who were in Africa to render aid to patients stricken with the deadly virus, have become infected.
The fact that health workers have not been successful in containing the Ebola virus has led to the possibility that it could mutate and become airborne. In the event that such is the case, residents of Dallas and the rest of the United States have far more to worry about.
The incubation period for the Ebola virus is between two and three weeks. Thus, the Dallas patient is likely to have been walking around for weeks in the United States, all while stricken with Ebola, before the devastating symptoms manifested themselves.
The hospital expects preliminary results from the Center for Disease Control today. We will make sure to keep you updated.