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The U.S. confirmed its first case of Ebola late Tuesday, sparking fears that the general population is now at risk of the deadly virus that has been claimed thousands of lives in West Africa.
The patient, who has been place in "strict isolation" at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, had been in Liberia before being diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the patient left Liberian capitalMonrovia on September 19 and arrived in the U.S. on September 20. The man, whose identity is being withheld, showed no symptoms when he first arrived. He fell sick around September 24 and sought care two days later.
Dr. Joseph Fair, virologist and senior advisor at Fondation Mérieux—a France-based family foundation dedicated to fighting infectious diseases—told CNBC in a phone conversation that the U.S. is "extremely well equipped" to manage the case and there no reason for concern at this point.
Fair has experienced first-hand the challenges the Ebola outbreak presents.
When the first case of Ebola was proven in Guinea earlier this year, he traveled to neighboring Sierra Leone to advise its government on what they needed to do to prepare.
Guarding against Ebola
The initial symptoms of Ebola start much like classic symptoms of malaria - fever and headache very early on followed by diarrhea and vomiting.
These symptoms are followed by the hemorrhaging seen in the late stages of the disease.
Fair told CNBC that, at the moment there's no reason to talk about what further precautions the general public should take to combat the disease - other than the usual precautions like washing your hands and other basic hygiene principals.
Should passengers on the Monrovia-Dallas flight be worried?
According to reports, the infected individual was not symptomatic until a few days after arriving in the U.S., as a result, chances that the infection spread to others traveling with him from Monrovia to Dallas are "absolutely minuscule," Fair told CNBC.
"There's always a concern when you're sitting next to someone that they may have been infectious at the time," he said. "But when there are no symptoms, the chances of spreading the infection are absolutely minuscule. Of course there will be due diligence done to follow up."
Will it spread?
"Right now we are not worried about it spreading in the U .S . beyond this individual and possibly his close contacts. There will be 21-day monitoring period for those people, " Fair told CNBC.
He added that is confident the government can contain thespread of the virus, having put in place contingency plans to deal with imported cases.
"Since the outbreak, there hasbeen heightened awareness and we have been in the preparation phase. We have a highly developed public health surveillance system and multiple facilities in which we can safely care for infected individuals using the proper precautions," he said.
There is no need for businesses or tourists to restrict travel to Texas, Fair said, and Dallas residents need not be concerned about public gatherings at this point.
What about a vaccine?
While there are no approved vaccines or treatments for Ebola, the virus' rapid spread has fueled a debate on whether an experimental vaccine should be brought into the field to contain it.
The death toll from an outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has risen to at least 3,091 out of 6,574 probable, suspected and confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization.
"These are far from ideal circumstances in which to undertake a clinic trial, but after weighing the risks, populations in West Africa have overwhelmingly decided to take that risk," Fair told CNBC.
"My major concern is that people will see these vaccines and treatments as the answer to stopping this outbreak, and that is far from the case."