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Ebola Outbreak

Colleen Quinlan ’15

Staff Writer      

This past year an outbreak of Ebola swept through countries in West Africa. Many Americans are concerned that the outbreak could spread throughout the United States, but the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C), along with airports and hospitals, are taking precautions to prevent the outbreak from spreading.

On September 30, 2014, The New York Times reported the first case of Ebola in the United States was found in Dallas, Texas. The victim, Eric Duncan, was screened before he boarded his flight in Liberia and had no symptoms that indicated he had Ebola. It was not until the 24th of September that he started to develop symptoms. Two days later on the 26th he sought care, but was sent home because his symptoms were diagnosed to be flu-like. On the 28th of September he was placed in isolation at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and Ebola was eventually confirmed on the 30th.

Dr. Frieden, Director of C.D.C, stated that the patient was treated in strict isolation and all measures were taken to ensure the disease did not spread in the rest of United States. “I have no doubt that we will control this case of Ebola so that it does not spread widely in this country”, Dr. Frieden told reporters on September 30th.

Eric Duncan died on October 8, 2014 by the disease and Nina Pham a nurse who took care of Duncan was diagnosed with Ebola on October 12th, as stated by The New York Times. On October 15th it was reported that Amber Vinson, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, who also treated Duncan as well tested positive for Ebola. Vinson became the second health care worker diagnosed with the disease.

The Wall Street Journal published an article stating that “as many as 10,000 new cases a week of Ebola could be reported by early December.” Bruce Alyward, Assistant Director of World Health Organization, said the virus is still moving geographically, still escalating. “Every time you isolate another patient, every time you have a safe burial, you’re taking some of the heat out of this outbreak,” Dr. Aylward told reporters.

For more information about Ebola visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov.

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