The first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. died Wednesday in Dallas, and the government said it would begin taking the temperatures of travelers arriving from West Africa at five U.S. airports.
A look at the essential developments worldwide:
Thomas Eric Duncan died a little over a week after he was diagnosed with the same infection that has killed thousands of people in West Africa. The 42-year-old Liberian man arrived Sept. 20 in Dallas and fell ill a few days later. After an initial visit to the emergency room, he was sent home, but he returned later after his condition worsened.
In Washington, the federal government announced that the stepped-up screening for the disease would begin Saturday at New York's Kennedy Airport and would soon include Chicago, Washington Dulles, Atlanta and Newark.
As of Wednesday, Ebola has killed about 3,800 people in West Africa and infected at least 8,000, according to the World Health Organization. The virus has taken an especially devastating toll on health care workers, sickening or killing more than 370 of them in the hardest-hit countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone — places that already were short on doctors and nurses.
THE U.S. PATIENTS
With Duncan's death, an NBC News freelance cameraman hospitalized in Nebraska is the sole Ebola patient in the U.S. He is the fifth American with Ebola to return home for treatment during the latest outbreak.
A sheriff's deputy who went into the apartment where Duncan had stayed was hospitalized Wednesday "out of an abundance of caution" after becoming ill, officials said.
Federal and state health officials say there's no indication the deputy had any direct contact with Duncan.
THE WAY IT SPREADS
The virus that causes Ebola is not airborne and can only be spread through direct contact with bodily fluids — blood, sweat, vomit, feces, urine, saliva or semen — of an infected person who is showing symptoms.
There are no approved medications for Ebola, so doctors have tried experimental treatments in some cases, including drugs and blood transfusions from others who have recovered from Ebola. The survivor's blood could carry antibodies for the disease that will help a patient fight off the virus.
The cameraman was to receive a transfusion of blood drawn from Dr. Kent Brantly, the first of the five Americans to return to the U.S. to be treated for Ebola. Both the cameraman and Duncan received an experimental drug called brincidofovir, an oral medication developed to fight several other viruses.