The last person being monitored in connection with the state’s three diagnosed Ebola patients will be cleared from twice-daily monitoring by the end of the day Friday after reaching the 21-day mark, the longest incubation period for the disease.
No additional cases of the disease have been diagnosed in Texas.
A total of 177 people – a mix of health care workers, household contacts and community members – have been monitored over time because they had contact with at least one of the three Texas Ebola patients, specimens or medical waste. The last person being monitored Friday is a hospital worker who handled medical waste Oct. 17.
“We’re happy to reach this milestone, but our guard stays up,” said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services. “We reached this point through teamwork and meticulous monitoring, and we’ll continue to be vigilant to protect Texas from Ebola.”
Texas also recently cleared the people who were being monitored in Texas because they were passengers on one of the Dallas-Cleveland flights that carried a Dallas health care worker before she was diagnosed with Ebola.
State and local health officials worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to closely monitor people since the first patient was diagnosed Sept. 30.
Health officials continue to monitor all travelers who return to Texas from countries with widespread Ebola outbreaks. The CDC has identified about 50 people who have returned to Texas from those areas. One of those travelers, a Central Texas nurse who cared for Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, is considered to be at “some risk” of exposure to Ebola and has agreed to stay home until she reaches the 21-day mark. The rest are considered to be “low risk” contacts and are being monitored for symptoms.