What we should know about Ebola and other global disease outbreaks
Thousands of miles away from the “hot zone” in West Africa, Americans have, for weeks, been watching the unfolding Ebola crisis with growing alarm — and, in some cases, panic. Since the crisis began earlier this summer, more than 6,500 cases of Ebola and more than 3,000 deaths have been reported.
As some feared, the virus has now reached U.S. soil. On September 30, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the Texas Department of Health, confirmed the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Dallas, Texas from Liberia.
As we head into fall, Ebola continues to devastate West Africa, and President Barack Obama has dedicated U.S. military help to get the virus under control. But while Ebola is a public health and humanitarian crisis, the risk of an Ebola outbreak is still very low in the United States, say officials with the CDC and public health experts specializing in infectious disease at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).
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