Approximately 100 people received word from Texas health officials that they need to come in for questioning, and possibly an examination, because they may have had contact with Thomas E. Duncan, the New York Times is reporting. Duncan is the only known person to have been diagnosed in the U.S. with the Ebola virus.
The people being evaluated include his family members, the medical technicians who rushed Duncan to a Texas hospital, and presumably some of the individuals he may have had contact with during his layovers in Brussels and Washington, D.C., before landing in Dallas.
“It’s a constant process of interviews and locating as many contacts as are out there,” Erikka Neroes, a spokeswoman for the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department, said. “We expect daily that there could be more people added” or taken off the list, Neroes explained, since it is “constantly evolving.”
That list also includes five school-age children, a revelation that has Dallas residents—especially parents—on edge.
“The five children who came in contact with Mr. Duncan were being kept home from school, and local officials tried to reassure parents at the four different schools they attended that the facilities were thoroughly cleaned and that children are safe,” the news site reports.
Some parents are reportedly taking extra precautions and keeping their kids home.
There are concerns that a Dallas hospital didn’t take Duncan’s initial visit to the emergency room as seriously as it should have. After a friend brought him in, described his symptoms to doctors and told them that Duncan had just returned from Liberia, the doctors gave him some antibiotics and sent him home.
It was Duncan’s nephew who picked up the phone and called federal authorities.
“I called CDC to get some actions taken because I was concerned for his life and he was not getting the appropriate care,” Josephus Weeks, the nephew, told NBC. “And I feared that other people might get infected if he was not taken care of.”
Read more at the New York Times.