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First US Ebola Virus Patient Dies
- Updated: October 8, 2014
The Ebola virus has always been an infectious disease linked to other countries, not something experienced in the United States. However, within the past month, there have been several confirmed cases of the virus in America, involving people fighting for their lives.
Although the Obama administration has been under extreme pressure from lawmakers to bolster screening and even prevent flights into the US from Liberia, infected people are still coming into the country. This is the case with Duncan who flew into Dallas late last month after having been in direct contact with a patient who died from the Ebola virus.
The number of cases is small but even so, concern is on the rise as more and more people receive a diagnosis or are at risk for having been exposed to the Ebola virus. Today, Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with this virus in the US passed away, prompting the government to take intense and quick action.
According to a spokesperson for the Obama administration, five airports are now being ordered to screen passengers entering the US from West Africa. Individuals will be screened specifically for fever, which is typically the first sign of infection. This order underscores the growing concern regarding treatment and preparedness within the United States.
In a statement released by the White House, the extra screening process for fever will be carried out for aircrafts arriving with passengers from West Africa, where roughly 4,000 people from three countries have died.
The first screening for the Ebola virus will start this weekend at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. From there, additional US airports will follow suit to include Newark Liberty, Washington Dulles, Chicago O’Hare, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta.
There are currently additional people in the US quarantined because of having a firm diagnosis of the Ebola virus. In these incidents, officials are working to locate everyone these individuals have been in contact with so they too can be checked or treated.
Although still in early discussions, representatives from both parties are arguing in favor a relatively lengthy isolation period for people exposed to the Ebola virus prior to being allowed into the United States. As concern increases, Americans will likely see even more preventative measures being taken.