Date
20 November 2017
A Red Cross worker leaves after delivering food to the apartment unit  where a man diagnosed with the Ebola virus was staying in Dallas, Texas. Photo: Reuters
A Red Cross worker leaves after delivering food to the apartment unit where a man diagnosed with the Ebola virus was staying in Dallas, Texas. Photo: Reuters

Dozens possibly exposed to US Ebola patient

Four people are under quarantine in Dallas after United States health authorities said dozens may have been exposed Ebola.

Up to 100 may have had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with deadly virus in the United States, acccording to Reuters.

Earlier, health officials said 12 to 18 people had direct contact with Duncan, who flew to Texas from Liberia via Brussels and Washington two weeks ago, and they in turn had contact with scores of others.

The four people under isolation are being kept in a Dallas apartment where sheets and other items used by the man were put in sealed plastic bags to prevent infection, the report said.

None of those thought to have had contact with Duncan were showing symptoms of Ebola, Dallas County officials told a news conference. Duncan had been staying in an apartment in the northeastern part of the city for about a week before going to a Dallas hospital.

Ebola can cause fever, bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea and spreads through contact with bodily fluids such as blood or saliva. It has killed at least 3,338 people in Liberia and two other impoverished West African countries, Guinea and Sierra Leone, in the worst such outbreak since the disease was identified in 1976.

In Liberia, the head of the country’s airport authority said the government could prosecute Duncan for denying he had contact with someone who was eventually diagnosed with Ebola.

The government said Duncan failed to declare that he helped neighbor Marthalene Williams after she fell critically ill on Sept. 15. Williams died.

Duncan was asked in a questionnaire whether he had come in contact with any Ebola victim or was showing any symptoms. “To all of these questions, Duncan answered ‘no’,” the official said.

US officials said the healthcare system is well prepared to contain the spread by careful tracking of those who have had contact with Duncan, and employing appropriate care.

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RA

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