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Officials Confirm First Ebola Case Diagnosed in US

AP

The Associated Press - published on 09/29/14

The hospital is discussing if experimental treatments would be appropriate, Frieden said.

Since the summer months, U.S. health officials have been preparing for the possibility that an individual traveler could unknowingly arrive with the infection. Health authorities have advised hospitals on how to prevent the virus from spreading within their facilities.

People boarding planes in the outbreak zone are checked for fever, but that does not guarantee that an infected person won’t get through.

Liberia is one of the three hardest-hit countries in the epidemic, along with Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Ebola is believed to have sickened more than 6,500 people in West Africa, and more than 3,000 deaths have been linked to the disease, according to the World Health Organization. But even those tolls are likely underestimates, partially because there aren’t enough labs to test people for Ebola.

Two mobile Ebola labs staffed by American naval researchers arrived this weekend and will be operational this week, the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia said in a statement Monday. The labs will reduce the amount of time it takes to learn if a patient has Ebola from several days to a few hours.

The U.S. military also delivered equipment to build a field hospital, originally designed to treat troops in combat zones. The 25-bed clinic will be staffed by American health workers and will treat doctors and nurses who have become infected.

The U.S. is planning to build 17 other clinics in Liberia and will help train more health workers to staff them. Britain has promised to help set up 700 treatment beds in Sierra Leone, and its military will build and staff a hospital in that country. France is sending a field hospital and doctors to Guinea.

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Ebola
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