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The Brief: Oct. 1, 2014

An airline passenger who was traveling to Dallas to visit relatives has become the first case of an Ebola infection in the U.S. The diagnosis, which was announced Tuesday afternoon, had federal and state officials trying to allay fears of an outbreak of the disease in this country.

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An airline passenger who was traveling to Dallas to visit relatives has become the first case of an Ebola infection in the U.S. The diagnosis, which was announced Tuesday afternoon, had federal and state officials trying to allay fears of an outbreak of the disease in this country.

The positive test result for Ebola came 11 days after the patient got on a flight from the West African nation of Liberia. "The patient developed symptoms on Sept. 24 and first sought care two days later," wrote the Tribune's Edgar Walters and Alexa Ura. "The patient was discharged from the hospital’s emergency room on Sept. 26 with a prescription for antibiotics, health officials said. The patient returned to the hospital Sunday morning and was placed in isolation to receive 'intensive care.'”

With how widespread the current outbreak is in Africa, many health experts thought "it would be only a matter of time before it reached the United States," wrote Denise Grady of The New York Times. "Hospitals and health departments around the country have been preparing for it, and a number of false alarms have occurred. But this time, the case is real."

The next step consists of tracking down everyone who was in contact with the Ebola patient after he began exhibiting symptoms. The disease becomes contagious only after that point.

Grady wrote, "Contact tracing involves identifying people who might have been exposed to the patient during the time he was infectious, and then monitoring them for symptoms every day for 21 days — the full incubation period of the disease. Most people develop symptoms within eight to 10 days of being exposed. Anyone who starts running a fever or having symptoms is then isolated and tested for Ebola. If the test is positive, that person is kept in isolation and treated, and his or her contacts are then traced for 21 days. The process is repeated until there are no new cases."

The outbreak in Africa has killed 3,000 so far. The patient in Dallas was described on Tuesday as "critically ill."

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Quote to Note

“Is it not the same than when our government continues to perpetuate laws that lead citizens away from God? The only difference is that the fraud of the Germans was more immediate and whereas the fraud of today’s government will not be exposed until the final days and will have eternal-lasting effects.”

— Newly sworn-in state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, in his inaugural speech on Tuesday, drawing a comparison between the Holocaust and what he said are efforts by the current government to legislate against religion

Today in TribTalk

What Abbott and Davis' ads say about them, by Bethany Albertson and Joshua Blank

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation With Kathie Glass, 2014 Libertarian Nominee for Governor, on Oct. 2 at The Austin Club

•    A Panel Discussion on Changing Population, Changing Health Care, on Oct. 6 at Rice University's Baker Institute in Houston

•    A Conversation With Sam Houston, 2014 Democratic Nominee for Attorney General, on Oct. 16 at The Austin Club

•    A Conversation With state Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, and state Rep. Travis Clardy, R-Nacogdoches, on Oct. 22 at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches

•    A Conversation With Railroad Commission Candidates Steve Brown and Ryan Sitton, on Oct. 30 at The Austin Club in Austin

•    A Live Post-Election TribCast, featuring Tribune editors and reporters on the election results, on Nov. 5 at The Austin Club

•    A Conversation With Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick on Nov. 6 at The Austin Club

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