Compiled from various media reports
The family of the first person in the United States to test positive for the deadly Ebola virus, Thomas Eric Duncan of Dallas, Texas, were legally quarantined yesterday (Thursday, October 2) after they did not comply with Dallas health officials requests that they stay home, reports Fox News.com
And in other Ebola news from the US, NBC announced that one of its news freelancers has been diagnosed with Ebola in Liberia. The freelancer, whose name was not disclosed at the request of his family, came down with symptoms on Wednesday and will be flown back to the United States for treatment, NBCNews.com reported. He began shooting for NBC on Tuesday.
Texas health officials said during a press conference yesterday that the family of Ebola patient Duncan, who is in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, would be quarantined in their apartment unit for the next 20 days until the potential incubation period for Ebola is over. Duncan who lives in Liberia travelled to Dallas to visit relatives. Breaking Christian News reports that while in a serious condition Duncan was praying over the phone with his relatives.
Health officials widened their search yesterday to 100 individuals possibly exposed to the disease – tracing contacts of the patient and medical staff who initially treated him. Also on Thursday, officials said three more young children potentially had contact with Duncan, bringing the number of kids being monitored to eight.
“We’re going to break that risk down to high-risk, no-risk and low-risk, and that’s going to be the basis of our contact tracing,” said David Daigle, associate director for communications, public health preparedness and response at the CDC.
Daigle expressed concern about infection control at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and said that a team was dispatched to conduct the same kind of contact tracing officials are doing in the local community.
Zachary Thompson, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, tried to quell fears in the community of the virus spreading and stressed transparency during the investigation.
“A lot of the individuals that we come in contact with will not have any symptoms, they will not have any association other than the fact that someone said they were there, or they might have had contact,” Thompson said. “This is local public health surveillance at its best, in what we do day in and day out.”
Police were stationed at the Ivy Apartment complex where the family lives Thursday to keep the peace and assist residents and health officials in the community during the investigation.
WND.com reports that with the arrival of approximately two million people from around the world in Saudi Arabia for the annual hajj pilgrimage, the Saudi government has banned the entry of travelers from three countries currently dealing with the Ebola epidemic: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The decision to reject visa requests from these countries has affected 7 400 people, according to the Associated Press.
Hospitals in Saudi Arabia are also preparing in the event of an outbreak by setting up isolation and surgery units as well as dispatching medical staff to airports.