First Case in the United States
The CDC confirmed the first case of Ebola diagnosed outside Africa since the outbreak began has occurred in Texas, and a patient whose identity has not been revealed is being treated for Ebola in Dallas. The patient flew from Liberia to the Texas in mid-September but did not become symptomatic until several days after arriving in the United States (The Guardian).
United States Government Intervention
Two weeks ago, President Barack Obama announced the U.S. military would dispatch 3,000 personnel to West Africa to coordinate Ebola response efforts, train health care workers, establish treatment centers, and provide medical supplies. The Pentagon has stated that approximately 200 troops are already in West Africa and that a unit of 700 troops will depart for Liberia by the end of October. Fifteen members of the Navy’s construction arm arrived in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, to help build treatment and training centers last week (Time).
Cases, Deaths and Locations
As of September 23rd, the total case count in the West Africa Ebola outbreak had reached 6,574, with 3,091 deaths. More than half of the reported cases and deaths have occurred in Liberia: 3,458 cases and 1,830 deaths (CDC).
Promising news came from Senegal and Nigeria last week that suggested that the countries are succeeding in containing Ebola, and the countries have sustained their containment. No new Ebola cases have been reported in Senegal or Nigeria since August 29 and September 8 respectively (CDC).
In the frenzy of news about a case diagnosed in the United States and the understandable focus on medical consequences like case numbers and death tolls, many of the wider economic and social costs of the Ebola outbreak are overlooked. When adults die, their children may be left without a caretaker. UNICEF estimates that over 3,700 children have lost one or both parents to Ebola this year, and neighbors often avoid contact with Ebola orphans for fear of contracting the disease. (BBC)