Ebola patient had contact with children - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Authorities: Ebola patient had contact with 5 children

A Facebook image of 42-year-old Liberian National Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to have a U.S.-diagnosed testing of Ebola. (Source: FACEBOOK/CNN) A Facebook image of 42-year-old Liberian National Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to have a U.S.-diagnosed testing of Ebola. (Source: FACEBOOK/CNN)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said the Ebola patient may have come into contact with children, who are being monitored. (Source: TWC News Buffalo/CNN) Texas Gov. Rick Perry said the Ebola patient may have come into contact with children, who are being monitored. (Source: TWC News Buffalo/CNN)

DALLAS (RNN) - Authorities say a man diagnosed with Ebola came into contact with five children in Dallas. 

There are new reports that indicate Thomas Eric Duncan, 42, came into contact with between 12 and 18 people, according to CNN. Those persons, including paramedics and nurses, have been identified and are being monitored. They continue to search for others who also came into contact with Duncan. 

Mike Miles, Dallas Independent School District's Superintendent, said the students were in school this week after possibly being in contact with the patient. The Associated Press reports that additional health and custodial staff will be at the five schools the students attend.

AP identified the patient as Duncan on Wednesday. When and for how long he had contact with the children was not known. The children, however are being monitored.

Duncan told medical personnel on his first visit to the hospital he was from Liberia, but was turned away. His sister, Mai Wureh, tells the AP her brother was asked for his Social Security number, but said he did not have one because he was from Liberia. Wureh said the hospital sent him home with antibiotics.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told CNN that the hospital "dropped the ball" in regard to Duncan's initial treatment. 

"You don't want to pile on them, but it wasn't communicated to the people who were making the decision," Fauci said. 

Duncan traveled from Monrovia to Brussels, then to Dallas, the AP reports on Sept. 19. CNN also reports the Liberian national traveled from Liberia to Brussels, from Brussels to Washington-Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, DC, and from D.C. to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

On Sept. 26, the man walked into a Dallas emergency room. A nurse did ask about his recent travels, but that information "was not fully communicated throughout the whole team," according to Dr. Mark Lester.

Duncan returned to the emergency room on Sept. 28 and was admitted.

The patient is the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, and is in isolation at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. There is also a second patient that has been quarantined and will be tested for Ebola. The patient reportedly has close contact with Duncan. 

WFAA reports the patient was staying in an apartment complex with relatives. Ebola is only contagious when symptoms present themselves.

"We're following the protocols, we have the individual quarantined. We're protecting the rest of the staff and the patients at Presbyterian and we're going out and contacting all the people that he was in contact with so that we can monitor them. And the first signs of any of the symptoms, fever, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting, then they would need to be isolated," said Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on CNN.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 6,500 people have been infected with Ebola, and more than 3,000 have died from the virus. The hardest hit countries are in West Africa - Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Four aid workers were flown from West Africa back to the U.S. to be treated for the disease. Two of the Americans who contracted the virus in Africa last August were flown to the United States and treated in Atlanta's Emory University Hospital. Both patients recovered.

Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol were released after about three weeks of treatment when they were confirmed to be free of the virus by the infectious disease specialist at Emory and the CDC.

A third doctor, Dr. Rick Sacara, was released from the Nebraska Medical Center on Sept. 25. A fourth patient who was in Sierra Leone is under observation at the National Institutes of Health.

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