, WASHINGTON, United States, Oct 9 – A Liberian man who was the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States died in a Texas hospital Wednesday, as deaths from West African epidemic neared 3,900.
Washington stepped up airport screening against the often fatal virus, and the World Health Organisation sought to contain concerns of a wider outbreak in Europe after a Spanish nurse was infected.
The world’s largest outbreak of Ebola has killed 3,865 people out of 8,033 infected so far this year, mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, according to the WHO’s latest count.
The spillover of the virus – with the first diagnosis in United States and the first case of infection in Spain – has raised fears of contagion in the West.
WHO regional director Zsuzsanna Jakab said sporadic cases in Europe were “unavoidable” but the risk of a full outbreak was “extremely low.”
Meanwhile, two people were hospitalised in Los Angeles and Dallas for possible exposure to Ebola.
In the Los Angeles case, the person had no symptoms but did have a travel history to Liberia that led to the patient’s evacuation by ambulance from the airport, the Centinela Hospital said.
Of the Dallas case, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief Tom Frieden said “there is someone who does not have either definite contact with Ebola or definite symptoms of Ebola who is being assessed.”
Ebola is transmitted by close contact with the bodily fluids of a person who is showing symptoms of infection such as fever, aches, vomiting and diarrhoea, or who has recently died of the hemorrhagic virus, experts say.