A second patient is being monitored and believed to possibly have Ebola.
Just yesterday we reported on the first confirmed case of Ebola in the United States, and now the second has come to light.
Zachary Thompson, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, said in a morning interview with WFAA-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth.
“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,” he said. “So this is real. There should be a concern, but it’s contained to the specific family members and close friends at this moment.”
The director continued to assure residents that the public isn’t at risk because health officials have the virus contained.
There is more to the harrowing story, as Dallas area officials have also just released information that they believe 5 children who attend four different Dallas area schools also came into contact with the first victim.
At this time authorities believe that the likelihood that any of these children have Ebola is very low, but all of them did attend their schools after the incident of contact occurred. As you can imagine this has Dallas area parents very worried and wondering what is being done to make sure none of their children could be infected by the terrifying virus.
Thankfully, the first victim seems to be improving under the care of dotors in Dallas. His condition has been upgrade from “critical” to “serious.”
— Jenny Doren (@JennyDoren) October 1, 2014
USA Today also provides a helpful – and a bit unsettling – timeline.
The current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is the largest since the virus was first discovered in 1976. Until Sept. 30, no cases of this disease, which has a 50% fatality rate, had been diagnosed in humans in the United States.
- Sept. 19. Thomas Eric Duncan leaves Monrovia, Liberia, for the United States, changing planes in Brussels, Belgium. He has been exposed to Ebola but is not exhibiting symptoms, so he is not contagious. It is unclear whether he knew he had been exposed.
- Sept. 20. Duncan arrives in Dallas to visit his sister.
- Sept. 24. Duncan’s family members tell U.S. authorities this is the day he first felt sick. That is when he likely became contagious.
- Sept. 26. Duncan seeks treatment at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and is sent back to his sister’s apartment with antibiotics.
- Sept. 28. Duncan is transported to the same hospital by ambulance. He is critically ill and put in isolation in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
- Sept. 30. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that Duncan has been stricken with the Ebola virus, the first patient to be diagnosed in the USA.
- Oct. 1. Duncan’s condition is upgraded from critical to serious, and health officials say they are closely monitoring a second patient who had contact with Duncan. Others who have been in contact with Duncan, including paramedics and children, are being observed for symptoms.
Local News agencies in Hawaii are reporting that a 3rd suspected case is being reported.
Officials told KHON2 Ebola is a possibility, however the patient has yet to be specifically tested for the virus.
“We are early in the investigation of a patient — very, very early — who we’re investigating that might have Ebola,” said Dr. Melissa Viray, deputy state epidemiologist. “It’s very possible that they do and they have Ebola. I think it’s also more likely that they have another condition that presents with similar symptoms.”
Dr. Viray said the patient could have a number of illnesses including Ebola, flu, malaria and typhoid.
Dr. Viray wouldn’t confirm any details about the patient, symptoms, or if the person had recently traveled to West Africa. But she did say red flags for Ebola include fever and recent travel to that area.