Dallas' Second Ebola Victim? A Frisco Deputy Entered Thomas Duncan's Apartment & Now Shows Symptoms
There's a second possible Ebola case in the Dallas area. According to reports, Dallas County Sheriff Office employee Sgt. Michael Monnig is showing signs of Ebola after entering the apartment of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan, who died from the disease on Wednesday. Although Monnig's condition has yet to be confirmed, health officials in the Dallas area are taking extreme precautions to ensure that the disease is contained amid increasing fears of an U.S. Ebola outbreak.
WFAA reports that Monnig was transferred via ambulance from a Frisco, Texas, urgent care center to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas on Wednesday afternoon. Monnig reportedly accompanied two county health officials to the Dallas apartment Duncan lived in before being hospitalized on Sept. 28. According to WFAA, Monnig didn't wear a Hazmat suit or any other protective gear when he entered the apartment, and neither did the two health officials. The City of Frisco released a statement on Wednesday, shortly after authorities were alerted about Monnig's condition:
Monnig's condition: initial reports from the urgent care facility indicated the patient had direct contact with the Dallas ‘patient zero’; however, Frisco firefighter-paramedics now report the patient says he had contact with the apartment and family members related to the Dallas ‘patient zero’ prior to the apartment being decontaminated. Frisco firefighter-paramedics are in the process of transporting the patient to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. . Firefighters-paramedics are also in the process of examining clinical staff and other facility patrons. The number other people potentially exposed is unknown at this time.
On Tuesday night, Los Angeles saw an Ebola scare when a traveler from Liberia was rushed from Los Angeles International Airport to Centinela Hospital Medical Center to be tested for the virus, The Wrap reported. According to a statement from the hospital, the patient doesn't have any symptoms of Ebola, but is being screened of recent travel history. The patient is currently in isolation, and will continue to be monitored while the hospital remains in close communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Centinela Hospital CEO Linda Bradley said in a statement:
Our ER team did a precise and thorough job of implementing our full protocol. They acted quickly and decisively in determining the status of the patient and contacted all necessary authorities. Myself and our Chief Medical Officer, Paryus Patel, MD have been in close communication with CDPH, CDC and all appropriate public health agencies.
With news of Duncan's death, followed by a second possible Ebola case in Texas, panic is starting to spread among Americans. Just how likely is an Ebola outbreak in the United States?
According to officials in Frisco and Dallas, it's not very likely. Frisco Mayor Maher Maso told WFAA that the risk of Monnig having Ebola — and transmitting it to others — is "minimal." Frisco Fire Chief Mark Piland added that transferring Monnig to the hospital was more a precaution than anything else. "Until we know precisely whether he has it or not, we need to take every precaution," Dyer told the news station.
The CDC also tried to quell Ebola fears Wednesday afternoon when it hosted a #CDCchat on the fatal virus. Experts doled out advice on signs and symptoms of Ebola, as well as how it's transmitted and whether or not your pet dog and contract the disease.
Although Ebola can be highly contagious, CDC officials have reiterated that the virus is only transmitted when you have direct contact with a patient's blood or bodily fluids. "Ebola is not spread through casual contact; therefore, the risk of an outbreak in the U.S. is very low," the CDC states on its website.
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