Thomas Eric Duncan Ebola Exposure Window Nearly Over For 48 People
Well, here's something to take some solace in. For all the dire news that's been coming out of the West African Ebola outbreak these last few months — even the World Health Organizations has been criticized recently for the grisly situation there, which has claimed an estimated 4,400-plus lives to date — a handful of Americans will soon know whether or not they've been infected with the highly lethal virus. That's because Thomas Eric Duncan's Ebola exposure window is ending Monday, easing fears that any more of the people who came into contact with the late Ebola victim contracted the virus.
Basically, Ebola symptoms are said to become present within 21 days of exposure — a three-week stretch over which 48 people have been stuck under quarantine, including Duncan's girlfriend, Louise Troh, and her family. Monday morning will mark 21 says since Duncan's diagnosis was confirmed and he was put into isolation on September 30, meaning that their harrowing quarantine will soon come to an end.
Of course, not everyone avoided infection by way of Duncan. To this point, two of his former nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital have been confirmed as having contracted it, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson. And obviously, there's an entirely separate three-week wait needed to determine whether those two infected anyone before being isolated.
This is worthwhile information to bear in mind, especially if you're wondering when Ebola in the U.S. could conceivably be concluded over. It would take 21 more days since the last incidence of somebody falling ill with the disease on U.S. soil to be able to say, at the very least, that they hadn't infected anybody while in public. Given the dual instances of medical workers being infected, however, just getting somebody into isolation isn't an iron-clad guarantee against risk of infection, but it's of the utmost important nonetheless.
Troh issued a statement Sunday voicing her relief that the containment would soon be coming to an end and the challenge ahead of mourning Duncan's death. Troh and Duncan have one child together, and they'd planned to be married.
We are so happy this is coming to an end, and we are so grateful that none of us has shown any sign of illness. Our happiness is mixed with sadness at the same time. We continue to mourn [Duncan's] loss and grieve the circumstances that led to his death, just at the time we thought we were facing a happy future together.
It'd be a relief to Americans, Texans in particular, to get confirmation that this brief introduction to Ebola has been brought to an end. It's altogether controllable, after all — both Nigeria and Senegal are believed to be Ebola-free by the WHO, a heartening development on the international front, even as the outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea continues.
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