The first case of the deadly Ebola virus to be diagnosed outside of Africa has been confirmed in a patient in the US.
The unnamed man was admitted to a hospital in Dallas, Texas with symptoms of the disease and isolated on Sunday after returning from West Africa the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed.
A number of US citizen’s have been infected with the deadly virus and later been flown back to the country for treatment, however, it’s the first time a patient has become unknowingly infected and later diagnosed within the borders of the US, or outside of Africa.
The news sent shares in Tekmira soaring more than 20 per cent in after hours trading. The Canadian drugmaker is one of a number of pharmaceutical firms, including GSK, Mapp and Fujifilm working on a cure for the deadly disease.
The infected patient traveled from Liberia where there have been more than 1,500 cases and more than 800 deaths from the virus.
The patient left Liberia on 19 September, arriving in the US on 20 September and began to develop symptoms on 27 Septemeber.
The CDC believes no other passengers have been put at risk as the patient did not have any symptoms at the time of traveling.
It's believed to be the first case of this strain of the Ebola outbreak outside of Africa.
The World Health Organisation warned at the beginning of September that the disease was spreading “exponentially” in Liberia which has been hardest hit by the outbreak, and that thousands risked becoming infected.
According to a new study of the disease, the risk of Ebola being carried to the US is between one and 18 per cent.
Outside of Africa where the current outbreak has killed more than 3,000 people, the UK and Belgium were found to be more at risk of importing a case than the US.
A statement from the Texas department of health said:
The patient developed symptoms days after returning to Texas from West Africa and was admitted into isolation on Sunday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
The Texas Department of State Health Services is working with the CDC, the local health department and the hospital to investigate the case and work to prevent transmission of the disease. The hospital has implemented infection control measures to help ensure the safety of patients and staff.