Health officials in Dallas are closely monitoring a second possible Ebola patient who had close contact with the first person to be diagnosed with the disease in the U.S.
Zachary Thompson, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, said in an interview that everyone who has been in close contact with the man officially diagnosed with Ebola are being monitored as a safety precaution.
Thomas Eric Duncan, 42, was the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. According to CNN, he is a Liberian citizen and departed from Liberia on September 19 to come to the U.S. to visit family and friends.
Authorities have not revealed how Duncan got Ebola, but the New York Times reported that he had direct contact with a pregnant woman with Ebola on September 15. Duncan helped carry the woman home after a hospital turned her away because there wasn’t enough space in their Ebola treatment ward.
According to Jay Nagbe Sloh, the director-general of the state-run Liberia News Agency, Duncan was tested like “all other passengers” at Roberts International Airport in Liberia and “showed no Ebola signs” such as high fever, vomiting and weakness, “when tested.” Duncan was on two United Airlines flights – Flight 951 from Brussels to Washington Dulles to Dallas-Fort Worth – as he traveled to the U.S.
The CDC says that Duncan’s Ebola symptoms began to appear four to five days after his trip and around 10 p.m. Thursday, September 25, Duncan sought help at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.
A hospital official said that he underwent basic blood tests but wasn’t screened for Ebola and that “his condition did not warrant admission” and he was not showing any symptoms specific to Ebola.”