Ebola in Dallas: What We Know So Far

Transmission electron micrograph of the Ebola virus
Transmission electron micrograph of the Ebola virus
Centers for Disease Control

Live updating of this blog has moved to: Ebola in Dallas: Day 3

September 20: Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan arrives in Dallas from Monrovia, Liberia via Brussels. Duncan made an intervening stop at Dulles International Airport near Washington D.C..

September 26: Duncan first visits Texas Health Presbyterian. The AP reports that he informed staff he was from Liberia before the hospital sent him home with antibiotics.

September 28: Duncan returns to the hospital with worsening symptoms. Important because he was outside of the hospital for two days while symptomatic. Ebola patients are contagious once symptoms appear. Ambulance 37, the ambulance used to transport Duncan to the hospital is not currently being used, but was used for two days after transporting Duncan. The EMS workers who treated Duncan are currently being "reverse isolated" for 21 days in their homes. As has been stated repeatedly this week, Ebola can only be transmitted through bodily fluids like blood, feces, mucous, semen, sweat or urine, despite apparent confusion at the CDC.

See also: Even the CDC Isn't Totally Sold on its Own Proclamations on How Ebola Is Transmitted

Morning of September 30: Dallas County Health Officials brief the county commissioners about Duncan, who has yet to be identified in the press. Zach Thompson insists risk is low because "this is not Africa." Thompson tells the court that a CDC team is on its way to Dallas in case Duncan tests positive for Ebola.

See also: Ebola Has Landed in Dallas

Afternoon of September 30: Duncan is confirmed to have Ebola by both the CDC and the State of Texas. CDC hold a press conference to reiterate that the risk for Dallas and the United States is exceptionally low. There was "zero" risk to Duncan's fellow plane passengers according to the CDC because he was not symptomatic.

October 1: Texas Governor Rick Perry holds a press conference with DISD superintendent Mike Miles and other officials about the consequences of Duncan's positive test. Five DISD students are reported to have been in Duncan's immediate family circle and are being monitored by the CDC. The kids attend Emmett Conrad High School, Sam Tasby Middle School, Dan Rogers Elementary, and Hotchkiss Elementary and will be kept home for the 21 days, the duration of Ebola's incubation cycle. The schools issue a letter to parents downplaying the risks and describing the extra precautions -- like special cleaning -- being taken. Many parents at Hotchkiss pick their children up early.

It's reported that Duncan was reportedly staying at The Ivy apartments in North Dallas. Our Amy Silverstein reports that the complex is not closed off, but a cop is sitting out front to keep the media off the property.

The Ivy ApartmentsEXPAND
The Ivy Apartments
Amy Silverstein

See also: Dallas ISD Puts Parents on High Alert for Ebola Symptoms as CDC Monitors Five Students

There is no plan to close the schools because none of the students had yet shown symptoms, but parents can call 972-925-5810 for the latest updates.

Updates:

October 1, 3:40 p.m.: Unfair Park's Emily Mathis reports that Conrad High School students have been released early. Some of the students were told it's so the building can be decontaminated and cleaned.

October 1, 4:01 p.m.: Amy Silverstein reports from The Ivy that a dad she talked to at the apartment complex says that he plans to stay there tonight despite the rumors, because he has nowhere else to go. The man, who gave his name as John Paul, says he hasn't heard anything from management or public officials, but did see the cop outside the complex.

October 1, 4:20 p.m.: All Ebola updates from the City of Dallas can be found here. The city's Emergency Operations Center is open and is operating at "Level 2: High Readiness."

October 1, 4:31 p.m.: The New York Times reports that Duncan may have contracted Ebola after helping a woman sick with disease on September 15. Duncan is said to have helped her catch a taxi to a hospital after she was unable to get an ambulance, then given her further help after she was turned away from the hospital. He and another man who helped the woman are thought to have become sick around the same time.

October 1, 4:46 p.m.: Multiple media outlets are reporting that Duncan's stop between Brussels and Dallas was Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C.

October 1, 4:51 p.m.: Now that it's been reported that Duncan told hospital staff that he'd come to Dallas from Liberia, the Dallas Morning News' Tod Robberson has backed off his claim that Duncan might not have been released from the hospital in the first place had he been "educated and American."

October 1, 4:59 p.m.: The CDC will host a Twitter chat on October 2 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. to answer any questions you might have about Ebola.

October 1, 5:43 p.m.: Parkland Hospital has announced that it will increase emergency screening for the next six weeks.

October 1, 8:52 p.m.: This, from the mayor's office:

October 2: Morning Links:

Emily Mathis on the atmosphere at Texas Health Presbyterian.

From Vox, "How a Dallas hospital failed to diagnose the Ebola patient" and "The 6 Biggest myths about Ebola."

The Dallas Morning News reports that the State of Texas has confined Duncan's family to their home and forbidden them receiving visitors.

A report from NBC News says that Duncan's nephew, Josephus Weeks, called the CDC about his uncle, which prompted his being appropriately treated.

Here's the DMN's Todd Gillman explaining why the feds aren't restricting travel to the U.S. from West Africa.

Author Alexis Okeowo has an Op-Ed in The New York Times about "Living With the Terror of Ebola."

October 2, 9:21 a.m.:

From WFAA's Jenny Doren:

October 2, 9:56 a.m.: Carrie Williams, a spokeswoman with the Texas Department of State Health Services, has issued the following statement regarding Duncan's potential number of contacts:

"We are working from a list of about 100 potential or possible contacts and will soon have an official contact tracing number that will be lower. Out of an abundance of caution, we're starting with this very wide net, including people who have had even brief encounters with the patient or the patient's home. The number will drop as we focus in on those whose contact may represent a potential risk of infection."

Further October 2 updates can be found here: Ebola in Dallas: Day 3


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