Dallas hospital confirms first Ebola patient

Natalie Sullivan

A patient in a Dallas hospital has the Ebola virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Texas Department of State Health Services. The incident, confirmed Tuesday, is the first reported case of Ebola in the U.S.

According to the state health services department, the patient developed symptoms a few days after traveling to Texas from Liberia and was admitted into isolation Sunday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. 

The hospital said in a statement Tuesday that they are following recommended procedures to keep patients and visitors safe.

“Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas has admitted a patient into strict isolation to be evaluated for potential Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) based on the patient’s symptoms and recent travel history,” the hospital said in the statement. “The hospital is following all Centers for Disease Control and Texas Department of Heath recommendations to ensure the safety of patients, hospital staff, volunteers, physicians and visitors.”

At a press conference Tuesday, David Lakey, commissioner for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said the department has a special team set up to handle the incident and is working closely with the CDC.

“Our laboratory, the Texas Public Health laboratory in Austin, has a specially trained team to handle high-risk specimens like this,” Lakey said. “I want to reiterate that we have no other suspected cases in the state of Texas at this time, but we are closely monitoring the situation, and we’re ready to assist in any way that is needed. We’ve been in significant contact with the hospital, with the local health department and with the CDC, and they have our full support as we work through this situation. We’re committed to keeping Texas safe.”

According to the World Health Organization, there have been more than 6,500 cases of Ebola and more than 3,000 deaths from the outbreak in West Africa.