Stay up to date on the latest Ebola news around the globe.

by dana.ford

Thomas Eric Duncan is the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola while inside the United States. The development is the latest in an outbreak that has racked West Africa. Here's what we know:

  • Because the early symptoms of Ebola can include abdominal pain, fever and vomiting -- ailments that also come with other illnesses -- there are concerns about how to distinguish between Ebola and, say, the flu.
  • Health officials are reaching out to people who may have had contact with Duncan.
  • The patient is in serious condition at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

    CNN's Sanjay Gupta: 'Brand new world'

    "We were so used to thinking about Ebola as being relegated to these remotes forests in Central Africa, never really making its way out, and that has clearly changed.  It is a brand new world now with regard to Ebola," CNN's chief medical correspondent said.

    He predicted the disease would travel all over the world.

    However, Gupta said: "The root cause is still in West Africa and that’s where, you know, they got to really flood the zone."


    Though Thomas Eric Duncan is the first person diagnosed with Ebola on American soil, other people have been diagnosed with the disease in West Africa and then brought to the United States for treatment. One such person is Nancy Writebol, who recounts her experience and some offers advice here:

    CDC director on borders

    "We cannot make the (Ebola) risk zero until the outbreak is controlled in West Africa," said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden. He went on to say that isolating those countries completely through travel restrictions would make it more difficult to assist in controlling the outbreak, and would eventually put the United States at greater risk.

    We do not shut our borders to countries affected by #Ebola; didn’t w/ SARS or pandemic H1N1 flu. #CDCChat

    — Dr. Tom Frieden (@DrFriedenCDC) October 2, 2014

    Extra cleaning at schools

    Custodians are stepping up cleanup work at Dallas schools attended by the five students who may have been in contact with a man diagnosed with Ebola.

    "We don't think there's any virus at any of those buildings, but we'll take that off the table, so we're doing extra cleaning and disinfecting," said Mike Miles, superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District.

    Attendance at the schools Thursday was down to about 86%, Miles said.
    Ebola victim's half-brother speaks

    Wilfred Smallwood, who says he's a half-brother of U.S. Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, said Thursday that he doesn't believe Duncan knew he had Ebola when he left Liberia for the United States. "(It's) what we do in Liberia -- our tradition is to help somebody who needs help," he said when asked about Duncan's contact with Ebola patients.

    Smallwood said that when Duncan first visited Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, neither Duncan nor the hospital knew then that he had Ebola.

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