By: Richard Meyer ~Copy Editor~
The first known contraction of the Ebola virus on U.S. soil has been reported.
The woman contracted the disease after treating Thomas Eric Duncan, a native Liberian who unwittingly brought the disease back with him while travelling. He had come to the U.S. to visit his family and friends in Texas.
In response to the outbreak, airports have begun a screening process before coming aboard planes.
In order to board the plane, travelers are subject to temperature readings at various checkpoints as well as questionnaires, inquiring from where the person was traveling and if he or she may have come in contact with the virus while there.
Duncan was reportedly subjected to these screening processes, but did not have a fever at the time of traveling and was unaware of any contact with an Ebola patient.
After a multiple-week struggle with the virus, Duncan died on Oct. 8.
Throughout his struggle, it is believed that Duncan came in contact with around 70 people, most of whom are still being monitored for Ebola symptoms.
While caring for Duncan, Nina Pham, one of the his nurses, contracted the virus.
It remains unclear as to how Pham became infected, as it is believed that she followed all necessary precautions while caring for Duncan.
Officials from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) claim that there must have been a breach in protocol by Pham.
To combat the spread of the disease, airport screenings and quarantining those who had possibly contracted it will continue.
Despite the sign of spread of the disease in the U.S., CDC officials remain optimistic.
“I will tell you that the fact that we identified this individual so quickly is actually to me a sign that the system is working,” infectious disease expert Dr. Frank Esper said.