Out of Africa: Ebola cases in the United States
(Reuters) – Nine cases of Ebola have been seen in the United States since the beginning of August. A Liberian man who died Oct. 8 in a Dallas, Texas, hospital was the first person diagnosed with the virus on U.S. soil.
The latest case is a doctor in New York City who was diagnosed on Oct. 23 within a week of returning from treating people in Guinea, one of the three worst-hit West African countries.
The following are details of cases of the hemorrhagic fever seen in the United States:
NEW YORK DOCTOR
Dr. Craig Spencer, 33, returned to the United States on Oct. 17 via Belgium after working for Doctors Without Borders charity in Guinea. He tested positive for Ebola on Oct. 23. His fiancée and two friends were put in quarantine.
Nina Pham, 26, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where she helped treat Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan. She was diagnosed four days after Duncan died. On Oct. 24 officials declared Pham free of the virus at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where she had been treated since Oct. 16.
A second nurse at the same hospital who treated Duncan, 29-year-old Amber Vinson, also tested positive for the virus. On Oct. 24 the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta where she was being treated declared her free of the virus.
Vinson flew from Ohio to Dallas the day before reporting symptoms, raising concerns about possible spread of the disease, which someone can get through contact with bodily fluids. Ohio has not reported any case of Ebola.
Ashoka Mukpo, an American freelance television cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia, was flown out of the country for treatment at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
Mukpo, 33, was declared free of the virus on Oct. 21. “Recovering from Ebola is a truly humbling feeling. Too many are not as fortunate and lucky as I’ve been. I’m very happy to be alive,” he said in a Twitter post this week.
The NBC crew who worked with Mukpo also returned to the United States and were ordered into quarantine after violating their voluntary confinement.
LIBERIAN IN DALLAS
Duncan was visiting Dallas when he began feeling ill and sought treatment at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Sept. 25. He was initially discharged with antibiotics, despite telling a nurse he had just come from Liberia. On Sept. 28 he returned to the same hospital by ambulance after vomiting outside the apartment complex where he was staying. Duncan died in an isolation ward 11 days later.
An unidentified American who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone began treatment at Emory University Hospital on Sept. 9. The patient, who has asked to remain anonymous, was discharged on Oct. 19, the university said.
Three Americans contracted Ebola while working for Christian missionary organizations in Liberia and were flown to the United States for treatment. All have recovered.
Nancy Writebol contracted the virus in July while working for a SIM USA hospital with her husband, David, who was not infected. She was treated at Emory and discharged on Aug. 19.
Dr. Kent Brantly also was treated in isolation at Emory after contracting Ebola while working for Christian relief group Samaritan’s Purse. He was released on Aug. 21.
Dr. Rick Sacra, a Boston physician who was working for SIM USA, arrived in the United States on Sept. 5 and was treated for three weeks at Nebraska Medical Center.
Hospitals across the United States have been urged to watch for possible cases and to ask patients about their travels to help screen for the virus. Patients have been monitored in several states.