Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ebola finally landed in USA soil. Texas checks 100 for exposure

The list includes "potential or possible contacts" with Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national diagnosed in Dallas on Tuesday, and "will drop". Four of his relatives have been ordered to stay home while they are watched for signs of the disease, say medics. Mr Duncan, believed to have caught the disease in Liberia, is in a serious condition in hospital. He was the first case diagnosed on US soil and on Thursday, Liberian officials said they would prosecute Mr Duncan for lying on an Ebola questionnaire form. Texas on Thursday, Department of State Health Services spokeswoman Carrie Williams described the department's list of 100 people as "a very wide net" of individuals "who have had even brief encounters with the patient or the patient's home".
"The number will drop as we focus in on those whose contact may represent a potential risk of infection," she said. Health commissioner Dr David Lakey said four of Mr Duncan's close relatives had been ordered to stay at home and not receive visitors until 19 October. Police have been posted outside their home to be sure and officials are delivering groceries to the home and preparing to have it professionally cleaned. Workers were scrubbing the car park outside the apartment with high-pressure water and bleach, Reuters reported. Within 24 hours of Mr Duncan's diagnosis, Texas health officials identified 12-18 people who came into contact with him at his house, including his partner and her five children.
None of these people has yet exhibited any symptoms, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said on Thursday afternoon. Mr Duncan is believed to have contracted Ebola as he helped transport a pregnant woman stricken with the virus. But when filling out a form prior to leaving Liberia two weeks ago, he answered "no" to a question about whether he had cared for an Ebola patient. "We wish him a speedy recovery; we await his arrival in Liberia" to face prosecution, Binyah Kesselly, the chairman of the board of directors of the Liberia Airport Authority, said. Mr Duncan was initially sent home from hospital with antibiotics and not admitted and isolated for another two days. The disease, which is not contagious until symptoms appear, is spread via close contact with bodily fluids. Source ( BBC)


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