The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed on Tuesday that a patient being treated at a Dallas hospital has tested positive for Ebola, the first case diagnosed in the United States.
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas officials said in a statement Monday that an unnamed patient was being tested for Ebola and had been placed in "strict isolation" due to the patient's symptoms and recent travel history.
Presbyterian Hospital says it's taking measures to keep its doctors, staff and patients safe.
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said that the patient arrived in Texas from Liberia earlier this month and exhibited no symptoms. The patient sought care last Friday and has been hospitalized in isolation since the weekend. Frieden said that officials don't believe there is any risk to anyone who was on the flight at that time.
State health officials say no other cases are suspected in Texas.
The hospital had announced a day earlier that the patient's symptoms and recent travel indicated a case of Ebola, the virus that has killed more than 3,000 people across West Africa and infected a handful of Americans who have traveled to that region.
The CDC has said 12 other people in the U.S. have been tested for Ebola since July 27. Those tests came back negative.
Four American aid workers who have become infected while volunteering in West Africa have been treated in special isolation facilities in hospitals in Atlanta and Nebraska, and a U.S. doctor exposed to the virus in Sierra Leone is under observation in a similar facility at the National Institutes of Health.
The U.S. has only four such isolation units but the CDC has insisted that any hospital can safely care for someone with Ebola.
According to the CDC, Ebola symptoms can include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and bleeding, and can appear as long as 21 days after exposure to the virus.
Jason McDonald, spokesman for the CDC, said health officials use two primary guidelines when deciding whether to test a person for the virus.
"The first and foremost determinant is have they traveled to the region (of West Africa)," he said. The second is whether there's been proximity to family, friends or others who've been exposed, he said.
U.S. health officials have been preparing since summer in case an individual traveler arrived here unknowingly infected, telling hospitals what infection-control steps to take to prevent the virus from spreading in health facilities. People boarding planes in the outbreak zone are checked for fever, but symptoms can begin up to 21 days after exposure. Ebola isn't contagious until symptoms begin, and it takes close contact with bodily fluids to spread.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Health officials say a patient at a Dallas hospital who has tested positive for Ebola arrived in Texas from Liberia earlier this month and showed no symptoms while on the plane. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden said Tuesday that officials "don't believe there is any risk to anyone who was on the flight at that time." Frieden says the patient came to the U.S. to visit family and arrived on Sept. 20. The patient sought care last Friday and has been hospitalized in isolation since the weekend. State health officials say no other cases are suspected in Texas. The patient is the first case of the disease to be diagnosed in the United States.