A group of 43 people in Texas who had contact with the state’s first Ebola patient have been cleared from twice-daily monitoring after reaching the 21-day mark, the longest incubation period for the disease, the Texas Department of State Health Services reports today.
They have no Ebola symptoms and are not at risk of developing Ebola. They are able to continue normal daily activities without being monitored for symptoms. The group is a mix of health care workers, household contacts and community members whose last possible contact with the state’s first patient was Sept. 28.
State health officials have been working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the local health department in Dallas to closely monitor people who have had contact with the three Ebola patients. About 120 more people continue to be monitored for symptoms.
“Epidemiologists have worked around the clock to call and visit people who may have had any exposure, to make sure they were asymptotic and doing well,” said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services. “I’m happy we can tell people they are free and clear of monitoring. It provides a measure of relief and reassurance.”
An additional group of people also are being monitored for symptoms because they were passengers on at least one of two Frontier flights that carried one of the health care workers who was diagnosed with Ebola shortly after travels. A small group of those passengers were identified as having sat within three feet of the health care worker and are considered to be at higher risk of exposure. That group has been directed to stay home.
Texas has had three confirmed Ebola cases. No additional cases of the disease have been diagnosed in Texas. The first patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, was exposed to the disease in West Africa before traveling to Texas and being diagnosed. The second and third patients are both health care workers who cared for Duncan in the hospital.
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