Chilling: Ebola has finally and officially arrived in America. A man in Texas who had recently traveled in West Africa was admitted to a hospital in Texas with symptoms, and represents the first person to have gotten sick while in the United States. (Several patients have been treated in the United States, but they became ill in Africa.) Reuters:
The patient had recently traveled to West Africa and developed symptoms several days after returning to Texas, state officials said. The patient was admitted to an isolation room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the diagnosis. U.S. health officials and lawmakers have been bracing for the eventuality that a patient would arrive on U.S. shores undetected, testing the preparedness of the nation’s healthcare system.
‘Several days’ is a vague (and terrifying) detail in the story, as the patient is contagious during that period. Ebola is thus far not transmittable through the air, and public health officials have assured us that first world standards of sanitation make outbreaks over here much less likely. After all, a concerted and vigorous effort in Nigeria appears to have halted Ebola in its tracks for now.Of course, mutations happen, and soothing prognostications can prove to be wrong. We all hope for the best, but it’s difficult at times like these not to feel like you’ve woken up during the opening scenes of some awful disaster movie.