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Aussie expert says developed countries prepared for Ebola

1.30pm: AN AUSTRALIAN expert on infectious diseases has warned there is no need for alarm over the confirmed Ebola case in USA.

Associate Professor Sanjaya Senanayake, who is a practising infectious diseases physician at the Australian National University Medical School, said developed nations have a strong public health and hospital infrastructure and had been preparing for months.

"In Texas, the first 'unexpected' case of Ebola in the USA has been hospitalised," he said.

"Few details are known at this stage apart from this person coming from Liberia.

"Given the continuing outbreak in West Africa and the ready access of people to air travel, it is not surprising that cases of Ebola will emerge in countries outside Africa.

"However, many countries have been preparing for such an eventuality for months.

"Also, developed nations have a strong public health and hospital infrastructure; therefore, the appearance of new cases of Ebola in countries like the USA should not be a cause for alarm as they should have the resources to limit the spread of any infection.

"But this is certainly a reminder for all nations to be vigilant for such cases appearing from the affected region."

7.45am: THE first case of Ebola has been diagnosed in the United States, health authorities confirmed last night.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas officials said that an unnamed patient was being tested for Ebola and had been placed in "strict isolation" due to the patient's symptoms and recent travel history.

The World Health Organisation has confirmed more than 3,000 Ebola-related deaths in West Africa during the current outbreak, which has spread to five countries: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

Fort Worth physician Dr Kent Brantly, who became infected while working in Liberia, recovered after being moved to a hospital in Atlanta. President Barack Obama said last month that the US would offer military and medical help to combat the disease.

Several other U.S. hospitals have previously raised alerts in connection with patients who presented Ebola-like symptoms, but all those cases tested negative for the virus.