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A patient isolated at a Dallas hospital is continuing treatment after he was diagnosed with Ebola this week.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the diagnosis, the first on U.S. soil, on Tuesday.

The patient, who has not been identified, left Liberia on Sept. 19 and arrived in Texas on Sept. 20. Four or five days later, he began to exhibit symptoms. He was hospitalized and isolated on Sunday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

“I can say he is ill. He is under intensive care,” Dr. Edward Goodman of the hospital told reporters.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, declined to answer whether the patient is a U.S. citizen. He also declined to say, clearly, whether the patient is a man, although he referred to the person as “he” on multiple occasions.

“The patient was visiting family members and staying with family members who live in this country,” he said at a news conference.

However, the city of Dallas in a news release said the patient “moved to Dallas from Liberia a week ago.”

Health officials believe the patient had contact with others after showing symptoms. The crew from the ambulance the patient traveled in have also been isolated. A team from the CDC will investigate those the patient came in contact with.

The ambulance that carried the patient – ambulance # 37 — was in use for two days after the transport but was adequately decontaminated, said Dallas city spokeswoman Sana Syed.

“I do want to stress that the paramedics followed national standards, as they do after each transport, in decontaminating the ambulance,” she said. “The Dallas County health department has confirmed that paramedics did follow proper guidelines to avoid contaminating additional patients.”

So far, the unidentified patient is the only person diagnosed with the deadly disease. Health officials are also downplaying the risk to the public, stressing that the virus can only be spread by direct contact with someone sick with it.

Frieden spoke on what is being done to curb the virus in West Africa, where more than 3,000 individuals died after being infected.

“One of the things that CDC has done in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Lagos, is to work with the airports’ authority so 100% of the individuals getting on planes are screened for fever,” the director said. “And if they have a fever, they are pulled out of the line, assessed for Ebola and don’t fly unless Ebola is ruled out.”

He added, however: “As long as there continue to be cases in West Africa, the reality is that patients travel, individuals travel, and, as appears to have happened in this case, individuals may travel before they have any symptoms.”

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is expected to hold a press conference on Wednesday to discuss the diagnosis.

We’ll keep you updated with the latest.


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