Authorities have identified the patient diagnosed with the Ebola virus inside of the United States, but now there is a risk that it may have spread to five kids in Dallas.
Health care professionals let Thomas Eric Duncan slip through their fingers twice before he was quarantined for Ebola treatment. He first cleared a medical checkpoint in Liberia on September 19 before arriving in the U.S. to visit family. Now, WFAA reports that he was released from an emergency room in Dallas last Thursday.
Dr. Mark Lester said during a press conference on Wednesday that although Thomas told a nurse that he’d recently been in an area hit by the Ebola outbreak, he was still sent home with little more than a bottle of antibiotics to fight deadly virus. Medical professionals thought he’d been infected with a low-grade virus.
“A checklist was in place for Ebola in this hospital for several weeks. That checklist was utilized by the nurse, who did ask [the] question [if the patient had been to Africa,]” Mark stated. “Regretfully, that information [was not shared] with the full team.”.
Thomas returned to the hospital on Sunday, when the severity of his condition was recognized and he was admitted to isolated care.
Between Thursday and Sunday, five kids from the area were possibly exposed to Ebola. Although the children have not been identified, it’s being reported that they attend four different four different schools in the Dallas Independent School District. WFAA reports that they are students from:
– Conrad High School
– Tasby Middle School
– Hotchkiss Elementary School
– Dan D. Rogers Elementary School
The middle school does share land with Jack Lowe Sr. Elementary school, but school district officials have said that none of those students had any direct contact with Thomas. There is no word on whether those students had a direct contact with a classmate that may have been exposed to Ebola.
DISD Superintendent Mike Miles said the students that may have had contact with Thomas were school earlier this week, but they did not exhibit any symptoms while among other students. “So, the odds of them passing on any sort of virus is very low,” said Mike
Those students are now at home, where they are each being monitored by the Dallas County Health and Human Services. Meanwhile the affected schools have brought in more health care professionals and the buildings have been disinfected.