An Ebola victim has died of the disease in a Texas hospital, becoming the first victim of the epidemic to die in the United States.
Thomas ERic Duncan became ill on returning from Liberia, and had received experimental anti-ebola drugs prior to his death, the hospital announced.
Symptoms of the virus can take up to 21 days after infection to appear – and the virus is fatal in up to 70% of cases, according to the World Health Organisation.
Texas Department of Health said: ‘The past week has been an enormous test of our health system, but for one family it has been far more personal.’
‘Today they lost a dear member of their family. They have our sincere condolences, and we are keeping them in our thoughts’
Duncan had been kept in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
The outbreak has killed 3,000 people in West Africa, and infected Westerners who had travelled to the region.
Researchers at Boston Northeastern University predict that there is a 50% chance Ebola will arrive in Britain within the next 16 days, due to Britain being a major transport hub.
The warning came as a nurse in Madrid became the first person to be infected with the virus outside Sierra Leone, LIberia and Guinea to become infected with the virus.
State health officials said no other cases are suspected in Texas.
Specimens from the patient were tested by a state lab and confirmed by a separate test by the Centres for Disease Control, said Carrie Williams, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Four American aid workers who became infected while volunteering in West Africa have been treated in special isolation facilities in hospitals in Atlanta and Nebraska, and a US doctor exposed to the virus in Sierra Leone is under observation in a similar facility at the National Institutes of Health.
The US has only four such isolation units, but the CDC has insisted that any hospital can safely care for someone with Ebola.
Ebola symptoms can include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and bleeding, and can appear as long as 21 days after exposure to the virus.