A Doctor who had been exposed to the Ebola virus in Africa has been admitted to a hospital in Texas after exhibiting symptoms similar to those of the disease. The early symptoms of EVD are similar to several other diseases including Malaria and the Flu.
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has placed the Doctor, who volunteered in Sierra Leone, in isolation on Monday evening with test results expected during the course of Tuesday. The patients blood samples have been sent to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta for PCR analysis. The cautionary stance taken by countries outside of the affected West African countries is in line with international recommendations designed to prevent further spread of the virus which could lead to a global outbreak.
The 2014 Ebola outbreak has seen 4 patients treated on American soil specifically in Nebraska and Georgia but if the case in Dallas tests positive it would be the first requiring full contact tracing and surveillance. Although initial results are expected on Tuesday the patient will likely be kept in isolation until a final confirmation is available. In the notable case of Dr. Kent Brantly initial testing for the virus was negative. Dr. Brantly was treated in Atlanta and went on to recover from Ebola.
Recent predictions have indicated as many as 20000 cases of Ebola by the end of October 2014. Only one model has been designed to predict which countries have a high risk for an outbreak. The model predicts that Ghana and the United Kingdom have the highest probability. The model also predicts that the USA could be exposed to the virus through immigration resulting in a small outbreak but further shows relatively low risk compared to several other countries including the aforementioned and Gambia.
UPDATE: Although initially reported to be a HCW it was later confirmed that the patient was not a doctor