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Doctors Without Borders has warned some mandatory Ebola quarantine measures in the US are having a “chilling effect” on its work.
The charity group has said it may shorten some assignments to West Africa as a result of recent state restrictions.
One of the charity’s volunteers, nurse Kaci Hickox, has defied orders by the state of Maine that she remain quarantined in her house after being in Sierra Leone.
There have been nearly 14,000 cases worldwide, but only nine in the US.
Doctors Without Borders – also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) – has 270 international and 3,000 locally hired staff in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
But the foreign workers now have additional concerns when heading home, said executive director Sophie Delaunay.
“There is rising anxiety and confusion among staff members in the field over what they may face when they return home upon completion of their assignments in West Africa,” she told Reuters news agency.
Some health workers are delaying returning to the US and staying in Europe for 21 days, she added, “in order to avoid facing rising stigmatization at home and possible quarantine”.
Some people are being discouraged by their families from returning to the field, she added.
Doctors Without Borders has 270 international and 3,000 locally hired staff in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone
Lawyers for Kaci Hickox, a nurse recently returned to the US from treating Ebola patients in Africa, have vowed to fight a court order that would enforce a 21-day quarantine.
Maine Governor Paul LePage said the state was willing to agree to arrangements that would have allowed Hickox to go for walks, runs and bicycle rides, but not allow her to go to public places.
The governor said discussions with Kaci Hickox, 33, had failed.
She says her freedom should not be limited when she is perfectly healthy.
People are not infectious until they show symptoms, usually a fever.
Another worker, Dr. Craig Spencer, travelled around New York City before he fell ill. He is currently in isolation in hospital.
After his case was announced, New York, New Jersey and other states ordered the mandatory quarantine of healthcare workers who had been exposed to Ebola patients.
President Barack Obama has warned that overly restrictive measures could discourage volunteering in West Africa.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the actions of US states ordering medics to be isolated.
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Nurse Kaci Hickox has defied the Ebola quarantine order, leaving her house in Maine for a brief bike ride.
She returned from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone on October 24.
Kaci Hickox maintains isolation is unnecessary, as she has no symptoms and has tested negative for Ebola.
Maine officials have vowed to go to court to try to enforce the quarantine.
About 5,000 people have died of the disease in West Africa, but only nine patients have been treated for the virus on US soil.
More than 13,700 people have been sickened in the Ebola outbreak, the vast majority in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Ebola, which is only spread through close contact with the bodily fluids of a sick patient, has a 21-day incubation period.
Kaci Hickox returned to the US from Liberia on October 24, landing at Newark International Airport
US officials are at odds over whether American healthcare workers who return from treating Ebola patients in West Africa should be forced into quarantine until that period has expired.
New Jersey and other states had put quarantine rules into place after a New York doctor who treated Ebola patients in West Africa came down with the disease.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) merely recommends daily monitoring of returned health workers, rather than enforced isolation.
President Barack Obama has warned that overly restrictive measures imposed upon returning healthcare workers could discourage them from volunteering in Africa.
“We know that the best way to protect Americans ultimately is going to stop this outbreak at the source,” he said on October 29 .
Kaci Hickox returned to the US on October 24, landing at Newark International Airport.
Officials say she had a minor fever, necessitating a quarantine at a Newark, New Jersey, hospital.
Kaci Hickox contested the quarantine regimen, ultimately threatening legal action.
After showing no fever or other symptoms for a 24-hour period, Kaci Hickox was discharged and brought to her home state of Maine.
“I’m not willing to stand here and let my civil rights be violated when it’s not science-based,” she told reporters on Wednesday evening.
On Thursday morning, Kaci Hickox left her home on a bicycle, followed by police officers who monitoring her movements and public interactions. She returned home shortly after.
Without a court order, the police were barred from detaining her.
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Medical staff returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa will be actively monitored but not placed in quarantine under new US health rules.
The federal guidelines came after nurse Kaci Hickox was put in isolation in a tent in New Jersey, a decision condemned by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Meanwhile, Australia has been criticized for a West Africa visa ban.
The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa has infected more than 10,000 people and killed almost 5,000.
People are not contagious until they develop Ebola symptoms and the UN Secretary-General’s spokesman said “returning health workers are exceptional people who are giving of themselves for humanity”.
“They should not be subjected to restrictions that are not based on science.”
Medical staff returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa will be actively monitored but not placed in quarantine under new US health rules
Quarantine decisions in the US are made in each state, and the new guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were immediately rejected by the governor of New Jersey.
The CDC said it was “concerned about some policies” being put into place.
New Jersey is one of three states with a 21-day quarantine for all health workers who have had contact with Ebola patients.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie defended the mandatory isolation imposed on Kaci Hickox, who was quarantined when she returned home from Sierra Leone.
Chris Christie added: “That’s what we will continue to do.”
Kaci Hickox, who had no symptoms, has now left hospital in New Jersey for her home in Maine, where health officials say she’ll be quarantined for 21 days.
The nurse said she was made to feel like a criminal when she arrived back in the US on October 24.
Separately, Australia, which has had several scares but no recorded case of Ebola, has been criticized by Amnesty International for taking a “narrow approach”.
A spokesman told Reuters that the ban made no sense from a health perspective but ensured that vulnerable people were trapped in a crisis area.
CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said workers considered to be at high risk or some risk would be required to be “actively” monitored for symptoms for 21 days.
Those at highest risk are anyone who’s had direct contact with an Ebola patient’s body fluids.
Even if they have no symptoms, they should avoid commercial travel and large public events, Dr. Tom Frieden said, adding that voluntary quarantine was enough.
More than 10,000 people have contracted the Ebola virus, with 4,922 deaths, according to the World Health Organization’s latest figures.
All but 27 of the cases have occurred inside Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
The Ebola virus spreads through close contact.
Health officials say stopping the spread of the disease in the areas hardest hit by the outbreak will prevent Ebola’s spread to other countries.
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Nurse Kaci Hickox, who was quarantined on her return to the US from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, has criticized the way she was dealt with at Newark airport.
Kaci Hickox, 33, said the experience was frightening and could deter other health workers from travelling to West Africa to help tackle the Ebola virus.
Illinois has become the third state after New York and New Jersey to impose stricter quarantine rules.
Meanwhile US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power is to visit West Africa.
Samantha Power will travel to Guinea on October 26, continuing later to Liberia and Sierra Leone – the three worst-hit countries.
“For me the benefits of having first hand knowledge of what is happening in these countries gravely outweighs the almost nonexistent risk of actually travelling to these countries, provided I take the proper precautions,” she said on Saturday.
She said she hoped her trip would “draw attention to the need for increased support for the international response”.
The White House has expressed concern that strict quarantine restrictions such as those imposed in New York, New Jersey and Illinois could put off aid workers and others travelling to West Africa to help mitigate the crisis at its source.
More than 10,000 people have contracted the Ebola virus, with 4,922 deaths, according to the WHO’s latest report.
Only 27 of the cases have occurred outside Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
Kaci Hickox, of medical charity Doctors Without Borders, described seeing a “frenzy of disorganization, fear and most frightening, quarantine” on her return from Sierra Leone on October 24.
Writing for The Dallas Morning News, Kaci Hickox asked whether fellow health workers would “face the same ordeal”.
Nurse Kaci Hickox was quarantined on her return to the US from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone (photo My Space)
“Will they be made to feel like criminals and prisoners?” she questioned.
Kaci Hickox said she was kept in isolation at the airport terminal for seven hours and given only a cereal bar to eat.
She also denied that she had had a fever, saying she was merely flushed because of the upset caused by her treatment at the airport.
Though Kaci Hickox tested negative in a preliminary test for the virus, she will remain under quarantine for three weeks and continue to be monitored by health officials.
Stricter quarantine measures were put in place in New York and New Jersey after a doctor, Craig Spencer, tested positive for the virus on his return from Guinea last week.
Dr. Craig Spencer is currently being treated at New York’s Bellevue Hospital in isolation.
The new measures mean that anyone who has had contact with Ebola victims in West Africa now faces a mandatory 21-day quarantine period.
Illinois governor Pat Quinn announced on October 25 that his state would start imposing the same measures, without providing further details.
Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was not consulted over the new rules, which were ordered by the state governors of New York and New Jersey.
“The state has the right to make its decision, just like the CDC does, and we’re going to work with them,” he told reporters on October 25.
President Barack Obama said in his weekly radio and online address that Americans had “to be guided by the facts – not fear”, reiterating that people cannot contract Ebola unless they have come into direct contact with an infected patient’s bodily fluids.
Barack Obama’s comments follow the release of the WHO’s latest report, which warned that the number of Ebola cases in West Africa could be much higher than recorded, as many families were keeping relatives at home rather than taking them to treatment centers.
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Nina Pham and Amber Joy Vinson, the two nurses infected with Ebola while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas, have been declared free of the virus.
Nina Pham had a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, hours after being discharged.
The news comes one day after Dr. Craig Spencer returning from Guinea tested positive for Ebola in New York City.
More than 4,800 people have died of Ebola – mainly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone – since March.
On October 24, it was announced that one million doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine will be produced by the end of 2015.
Amber Joy Vinson and Nina Pham were infected with Ebola while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas hospital
It was a day of mixed news in the US, where the first infection in New York was followed by the release from hospital of Nina Pham, 26.
“I feel fortunate and blessed to be standing here today,” she said.
“I am on my way back to recovery.”
Nina Pham thanked supporters for their prayers during her illness, and asked for privacy as she plans her return to Texas and a reunion with her dog, Bentley.
But first she was flown to Washington, at the request of the White House.
Nina Pham had been treated at a specialist hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, since being flown there from Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas last week.
The other nurse, Amber Vinson, has also been declared virus-free, but she will remain in treatment in Atlanta until further notice.
“Tests no longer detect virus in her blood,” a Georgia hospital official said.
Thomas Eric Duncan died earlier this month and it is still unclear how the nurses contracted the virus while wearing protective clothing.
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New York doctor Craig Spencer, who recently returned from Ebola-hit Guinea in West Africa, has tested positive for the virus.
Dr. Craig Spencer, who treated Ebola patients while working for the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), came down with a fever on October 23, days after his return, officials say.
He is the first Ebola case diagnosed in New York, and the fourth in the US.
More than 4,800 people have died of Ebola – mainly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone – since March.
Dr. Craig Spencer, 33, left Guinea on October 14, and returned to New York City on October 17 via Europe. On October 21 he began to feel tired and developed a fever and diarrhea on October 23.
He immediately contacted medical services and was taken to the city’s Bellevue Hospital, where he is being kept in isolation.
President Barack Obama said his thoughts and prayers were with Craig Spencer.
New York officials said Dr. Craig Spencer had travelled on the subway and gone out jogging before he started feeling unwell.
Dr. Craig Spencer treated Ebola patients while working for the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres in Guinea (photo Facebook)
At a news conference late on Thursday, they sought to ease fears of an outbreak in the densely populated city of 8.4 million people, saying officials had prepared for weeks for an Ebola case.
“There is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
“Ebola is an extremely hard disease to contract. New Yorkers who have not been exposed to an infected person’s bodily fluids are not at risk.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo said: “We can’t say that this is an unexpected circumstance.”
President Barack Obama telephoned both the mayor and the governor to discuss the deployment of health officials and to offer “any additional federal support necessary”, the White House said.
Ebola patients are only infectious if they have symptoms, and the disease is only transmittable through bodily fluids, experts say.
Andrew Cuomo said officials had identified four people with whom Dr. Craig Spencer had contact during the period in which he was potentially infectious.
His fiancée and two friends have been placed into quarantine, said Dr. Mary Bassett, New York’s health commissioner.
Dr. Craig Spencer is the fourth person to be diagnosed with the disease in the US.
The first patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, caught Ebola in his native Liberia and travelled to Dallas, Texas, before his symptoms set in. He died on October 8.
Two nurses who treated him in Dallas subsequently came down with the disease and are recovering in hospital.
Meanwhile, on Thursday the West African country of Mali confirmed its first Ebola case – a two-year-old girl recently returned from Guinea.
Mali is now the sixth West African country to be affected by the latest Ebola outbreak – however Senegal and Nigeria have since been declared virus-free by the WHO.
Separately, the World Health Organization (WHO) has already identified at least two experimental vaccines which it believes could be promising.
At a meeting in Geneva, the UN health body said it wanted tests of the vaccines to be completed by the end of December.
The WHO says 443 health workers have contracted Ebola, of whom 244 have died.
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President Barack Obama urged Americans not to give in to Ebola hysteria, stressing that the two cases contracted in the US were not an epidemic or an outbreak.
Barack Obama has also ruled out imposing a travel ban on Ebola-hit countries of West Africa.
He said isolating an entire region, a move urged by some Republicans, would make the situation worse.
The Ebola virus has killed about 4,500 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, according to the UN.
Barack Obama said the best way to tackle the disease was at its source, before it spreads.
“Trying to seal off an entire region of the world, if that were even possible, could actually make the situation worse,” he said.
“It would make it harder to move health workers and supplies back and forth.
“Experience shows that it could also cause people in the affected region to change their travel, to evade screening, and make the disease even harder to track.”
President Barack Obama urged Americans not to give in to Ebola hysteria (photo White House)
Barack Obama stressed that the US was not in the middle of an outbreak or an epidemic and urged Americans to stay calm.
However, the New York Times has reported that the president was furious with his aides over an inadequate response to the disease.
The newspaper said medical officials had given information that turned out to be wrong, local guidance was inadequate and categories of threats were unclear.
Some 60 Republicans in the House of Representatives have informally said they would support a travel ban, according to an unofficial count on the Hill website.
They were joined by a handful of Democrat representatives and a small number of Republicans in the Senate.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner, who supports travel restrictions, has hinted that he may propose a vote on the issue.
Several US airports have begun screening for Ebola, despite experts saying such moves were unlikely to have an impact.
Two American nurses contracted the virus after treating Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan, who subsequently died of the disease at a hospital in Dallas.
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The CDC will issue new guidelines for healthcare workers handling Ebola patients, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is “wrapping up the final details” about the new guidelines, which come in the wake of the first Ebola cases in the US, CDC spokeswoman Melissa Brower has said.
The CDC will issue new guidelines for healthcare workers handling Ebola patients
As of October 17, roughly 1,000 people were being watched for symptoms, asked to monitor themselves or urged to check with a counselor at the CDC. None has exhibited symptoms.
The group includes those who may have flown on a Frontier Airlines jetliner that carried Amber Vinson, the second of two nurses who contracted Ebola after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a major outbreak of Ebola in the US and elsewhere in the West is unlikely given the strong health systems.
President Barack Obama also said the risk of Americans getting the virus was “extremely low”, although he ordered a “much more aggressive response”.
Meanwhile authorities are investigating how Nurse Amber Vinson, who was infected when treating Thomas Eric Duncan in Texas, was allowed to travel on a plane.
Officials are trying to trace the 132 people who flew with Amber Vinson.
The Ebola outbreak has killed about 4,500 people so far, mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
President Barack Obama said the risk of Americans getting the virus was extremely low, although he ordered a much more aggressive response (photo Reuters)
EU health ministers will meet in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the crisis, including the possibility of sending more troops to West Africa to help contain the virus.
Christopher Dye, WHO director of strategy, said the introduction of Ebola into the US or other countries in Western Europe was a matter “for very serious concern”.
“The possibility that once an infection has been introduced that it spreads elsewhere, is something that everybody is going to be concerned about,” he said.
But he added: “We’re confident that in North America and Western Europe where health systems are very strong, that we’re unlikely to see a major outbreak in any of those places.”
Earlier, President Barack Obama said the likelihood of a widespread Ebola outbreak was “very, very low”.
However, he promised a “much more aggressive” monitoring of Ebola cases in the US and reaffirmed plans to send a “SWAT team” of experts to any hospital that reported an infection.
Barack Obama cancelled a political campaign trip to chair a crisis meeting on Ebola on Wednesday and has cleared his diary for Thursday.
The president said it would be more difficult to prevent an outbreak in the US if the epidemic “rages out of control in West Africa”.
US health officials are facing new questions about the response to Ebola infections in Texas.
Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan was treated at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital but died of the disease.
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Amber Vinson is the Texas nurse who flew on a plane with more than 130 people on board on the day before she came down with symptoms of Ebola.
Amber Vinson, 29, who is the second person infected in the US, fell ill on Tuesday, October 14.
Both she and nurse Nina Pham, 26, had treated Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan, who died a week ago in Dallas.
A nurses’ union has said those treating Thomas Eric Duncan were not given full protection and had parts of their skin exposed
More than 70 healthcare workers who may have come in contact with him at the hospital are being monitored for symptoms, the hospital’s director has said.
Meanwhile, the UN’s Ebola mission chief says the world is falling behind in the race to contain the virus, which has killed more than 4,000 in West Africa.
On October 15, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it wanted to interview the passengers on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 from Cleveland, Ohio, to Dallas, Texas on October 13.
It said it was taking the measure “because of the proximity in time between the evening flight and first report of illness the following morning”.
Amber Vinson flew to Cleveland on October 10, even though she was being monitored for signs of Ebola
Both Amber Vinson and Nina Pham treated Thomas Eric Duncan early in his stay at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas when he had “extensive production of body fluids”, said CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden.
A national nurse union told reporters on October 15 the health workers treating Thomas Eric Duncan had not been properly protected and called for all health workers treating Ebola patients to receive full protective suits and training from hospitals.
Union director RoseAnn DeMoro said staff treated Thomas Eric Duncan for days without the necessary protective gear, and hazardous waste was allowed to pile up to the ceiling.
The CDC has appointed a “site manager” in Dallas to standardize the protective equipment and supervise the method of putting it off and on.
Amber Vinson flew to Cleveland on October 10, even though she was being monitored for signs of Ebola and therefore should not have flown on a commercial plane, Dr. Tom Frieden said.
When Amber Vinson returned from Ohio, she was not showing symptoms of the disease, the crew has told CDC investigators.
Health experts say people who are not showing symptoms are not contagious.
On the morning of October 14, Amber Vinson came down with a fever and was isolated within 90 minutes. Her diagnosis was announced early on October 15.
One of the ill women is to be transferred to Emory University hospital in Atlanta, which oversaw the recovery of two US aid workers who had caught the disease in Africa.
Thomas Eric Duncan, who was the first person to be diagnosed in the US with Ebola, started showing symptoms of the disease just days after he arrived in Texas from Liberia, where he contracted it.
An initial set of 48 people who were in contact with Thomas Eric Duncan before he was admitted to hospital are nearing the end of the window in which they could develop an Ebola infection.
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A second Texas health care worker has tested positive for Ebola, health officials say.
A 26-year-old female nurse is already receiving treatment after becoming infected by Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan who died from the deadly virus last week.
Health officials say they are monitoring 48 contacts of the Liberian national and the healthcare workers who treated him.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says 4,447 people have died from the Ebola outbreak, mainly in West Africa.
A second health care worker has tested positive for Ebola at Dallas hospital
Nina Pham was exposed to Ebola at a Dallas hospital when she treated Liberian Thomas Duncan, the first person diagnosed with the virus on US soil.
Doctors at the Health Presbyterian hospital said she was in good condition on October 14.
The identity of the second health worker has not yet been revealed, however, the person also cared for Thomas Eric Duncan while he was in hospital.
The health worker was immediately isolated after reporting a fever on October 14, the Texas state department for health said in a statement.
“Health officials have interviewed the latest patient to quickly identify any contacts or potential exposures, and those people will be monitored,” the department said.
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Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has said a mistake was “clearly” made by staff treating Thomas Eric Duncan who died of Ebola in Texas, resulting in one being infected.
The female health worker infected is in an isolation ward in stable condition, awaiting confirmation of her diagnosis.
Tom Frieden said a full inquiry would be made into how the transmission occurred.
He said 48 other people who may also have had contact were being observed.
The health worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital wore full protective gear while treating Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan, health officials in Dallas say.
Thomas Eric Duncan, who caught the virus in his native Liberia, died on October 8.
The current Ebola outbreak, concentrated in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, has resulted in more than 8,300 confirmed and suspected cases, and at least 4,033 deaths.
Dr. Thomas Frieden said a full investigation would be conducted into how the infection had occurred.
A female health worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has been infected with Ebola virus after treating Thomas Eric Duncan
“Clearly there was a breach in protocol,” he told CBS.
The CDC investigation, he told reporters, would focus on possible breaches made during two “high-risk procedures”, dialysis and respiratory intubation.
Education and training of health workers would be stepped up, he said, and efforts would be made to reduce the number of staff treating Ebola cases.
Dr. Daniel Varga, of the Texas Health Resource, said the health worker had worn a gown, gloves, mask and shield when providing care to Thomas Eric Duncan during his second and final hospital admission.
Following a positive preliminary test for Ebola, follow-up tests on the infected health worker are due to be completed on Sunday, October 12.
Police are guarding the apartment complex where the woman lives in Dallas as decontamination work is carried out.
No details of her identity or position at the hospital have been given, in accordance with family wishes.
Thomas Eric Duncan tested positive in Dallas on September 30, 10 days after arriving on a flight from Monrovia via Brussels.
He had become ill a few days after arriving in the US, and went to the hospital in Dallas with a high fever.
However, despite telling medical staff he had been in Liberia, Thomas Eric Duncan was sent home with painkillers and antibiotics.
Thomas Eric Duncan was later put into an isolation unit at the hospital but died despite being given an experimental drug.
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Health officials have announced that passengers arriving in the US from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa could be subject to extra screening at airports.
Extra checks at entry is one of the options under consideration as the US tries to limit the spread of its first confirmed case, a Liberian in Dallas.
President Barack Obama is to be briefed on the Ebola crisis later on Monday, October 6.
The Ebola outbreak is the world’s deadliest, killing more than 3,400 people, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Celebrations in West Africa for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha have been badly affected, with public places used for prayers deserted.
One of the US president’s advisers on the issue, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said “discussion is underway right now” regarding all options to contain the virus.
Passengers arriving in the US from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa could be subject to extra screening at airports
On airport checks, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN the question was whether “the extra level of screening is going to be worth the resources you need to put into it”.
Passengers leaving affected countries already have their temperatures checked, but people do not become infectious until they display symptoms.
The infected Liberian in Dallas, Thomas Eric Duncan, was monitored for symptoms when he left Liberia but they did not develop until four days later, when he was in the US.
Thomas Eric Duncan is now in a critical condition in hospital.
Ten people who came into direct contact with him are being closely monitored but no-one has yet displayed any Ebola symptoms.
When asked about screening, Dr. Thomas Frieden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said: “We are looking at all options to protect Americans.”
However, he ruled out banning flights to the US because isolating these countries would only increase the outbreak within Africa and would deny them crucial aid, he said.
On the White House meeting later on Monday, Thomas Frieden said: “We’re going to be covering many aspects and figure out what we can do” to protect Americans and stop the outbreaks.”
But he repeated that he did not believe it would spread in the US.
“We can stop it in its tracks here, which we are doing,” he said.
A national survey by the Pew Research Center, suggests most Americans trust the government to prevent a major outbreak – 20% have a “great deal” of confidence, while another 38% said they have a “fair amount” of confidence.
A plane carrying American journalist Ashoka Mukpo, who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia, landed on Monday in Nebraska, where he will undergo treatment for the deadly disease.
Other US aid workers who have been flown home are now recovering after treatment.
A French nurse who contracted the virus in Liberia has recovered after having experimental medication in Paris.
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The first Ebola case diagnosed on US soil has been confirmed in Dallas, Texas.
According to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital officials, the unidentified patient is being kept in isolation.
The man is thought to have contracted the virus in Liberia before travelling to the US nearly two weeks ago.
More than 3,000 people have already died of Ebola in West Africa and a small number of US aid workers have recovered after being flown to the US.
“An individual travelling from Liberia has been diagnosed with Ebola in the United States,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Thomas Frieden told reporters on September 30.
Thomas Frieden said the unnamed patient left Liberia on September 19 and arrived in the United States the next day to visit relatives, without displaying any symptoms of the virus.
Symptoms of the virus became apparent on September 24, and on September 28 he was admitted to a Texas hospital and put in isolation.
The first Ebola case diagnosed on US soil has been confirmed at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital
The disease, which is not contagious until symptoms appear, is spread via close contact with bodily fluids.
Aid workers who caught Ebola in West Africa have come back to the US for treatment but this is the first case of a patient developing the virus on US soil.
A hospital official told reporters on September 30 the facility already had procedures in place to deal with any such potential cases.
Preliminary information indicates that the unnamed patient, who was described as critically ill, was not involved in treating Ebola-infected patients while in Liberia.
Health officials are working to identify all people who came into contact with the unnamed patient while he was infectious.
Those people will then be monitored for 21 days to see if an Ebola-related fever develops.
According to Thomas Frieden, it is possible a family member who came in direct contact with the patient may develop Ebola in the coming weeks.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says more than 3,000 people have died of the virus so far, mostly in Liberia.
Earlier on Tuesday, the CDC said the Ebola virus seemed to be contained in Nigeria and Senegal, with no new cases reported there for almost a month.
It is the world’s most deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus.
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