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Watch: What This Health Official Just Revealed Means Ebola In U.S. Could Get Much Worse

Zachary Thompson, the Director of the Dallas County Health and Human Services, told WFAA-TV that they are closely monitoring a person who had contact with the first U.S. Ebola patient who arrived from Liberia in September. Thompson said his department is monitoring the first patient’s family as a precaution. He has assured Dallas-Fort Worth residents that they are not at risk because the patients have been isolated from the public:

“Let me be real frank to the Dallas County residents: The fact that we have one confirmed case, there may be another case that is a close associate with this particular patient. So this is real, let me be frank.  There should be a concern, but it’s contained to the specific family members and close friends at this moment.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that Thomas Eric Duncan became ill and sought medical treatment on September 26 after arriving in Dallas from Liberia on September 20.  He was sent home with an antibiotics prescription.  Two days later, his symptoms became more critical and was transported by ambulance to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where he was admitted.

Duncan had been in contact with at least five children from four different schools before he was hospitalized, said Superintendent Mike Miles of Dallas Independent Schools. Those children are being kept out of school as a precaution. The paramedics who transported Duncan are temporarily off duty and are under observation.

Ebola symptoms can appear as long as 21 days after initial exposure and include fever, muscle pain, vomiting, and bleeding.  The disease is contagious only after symptoms begin and requires close contact with bodily fluids to spread.

(h/t: USA Today)

Image credit: WFAA-TV Dallas-Ft. Worth

BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.

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