The first patient in the U.S. has been diagnosed with Ebola, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Tuesday.

During a press conference in Atlanta, Ga., the CDC spoke with reporters about the first case of the deadly virus to ever be diagnosed in the U.S. An individual traveling from Liberia to Dallas, Texas on Sept. 19 and arriving in the U.S. on Sept. 20 has been identified as the victim.

Because people traveling out of West Africa are screened for fevers before boarding the plane, individuals who have the virus and are infectious are usually prevented from traveling. But the individual had not begun to develop symptoms during his travels, and didn’t have a fever until Sept. 24, several days after landing in Dallas. On the 26th, he was admitted to a hospital in Texas. He was diagnosed with Ebola Monday, and immediately placed in isolation, the CDC announced.

“Ebola is a serious disease” but is “only spread by direct contact with someone who’s sick, and it’s only spread through bodily fluids,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said during the press conference. He emphasized that it’s not possible for the virus to be spread through air, and only patients who are exhibiting the symptoms of fever and pain are infectious. The next steps, Frieden explained, is for Texas Health Presbyterian hospital to care for the patient in the best and safest way possible — then identify all of the potential contacts who may have been infected.

The age, name, occupation and nationality of the patient haven't yet been released due to privacy reasons, but the CDC noted he was visiting family in the U.S. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the death toll in West Africa has reached 3,091 — with 1,830 in Liberia — and there are nearly 7,000 potential cases either suspected or confirmed.

Many Americans may now be wondering if they’re in danger of infection, but the CDC says there’s nothing to fear. The patient did not exhibit any symptoms of the virus when he boarded the plane and got off in Dallas, and therefore wasn’t infectious. To be safe, however, the CDC will identify all the people who may have been in contact with the patient during his journey, as well as all of his family members. They will be placed in isolation if they are diagnosed with Ebola.

Is The US Prepared?

Public health experts have been saying for some time that when it comes to Ebola striking the U.S., it’s not a matter of if, but when. Thus hospitals across the country have been gearing up to prepare for a potential outbreak here.

The Dallas hospital that’s currently holding the infected patient says it’s prepared. “Ironically, a week before this, we had a meeting of all the stakeholders involved in care of such a patient,” Dr. Edward Goodman, epidemiologist with Texas Health Presbyterian hospital in Dallas, said during the press conference. “Because of this, we’re prepared to deal with this crisis.”

Frieden firmly stated that the CDC and state health departments will be able to stop Ebola in its tracks, even if it pops up again in the States. "This is the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. and the first strain of this Ebola diagnosed outside of Africa," Frieden said. "I have no doubt that we will control this case of Ebola, so that it does not spread widely in this country. It is certainly possible that someone who has contact with this patient could develop Ebola. But there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here."