WASHINGTON (WJZ) — An Ebola scare; Doctors in Texas are treating a patient with the first diagnosed Ebola case in the United States. Now there’s word that the patient may have flown through a local airport.
Meghan McCorkell has more.READ MORE: COVID In Maryland: 468 New Cases, 26 Deaths Reported
Centers for Disease Control officials believe the man traveled through Dulles Airport, but they say other passengers shouldn’t be worried because he wasn’t yet experiencing symptoms.
Officials say Thomas Eric Duncan traveled to the U.S. from Liberia to visit relatives in Dallas. CDC officials believe he flew United Flight 951 on Sept. 20 from Brussels to Dulles Airport. From there, he took Flight 822 to Dallas-Fort Worth.
Four days later, he felt ill and went to a Dallas hospital, telling a nurse he was visiting from South Africa.
“Regrettably, that information was not fully communicated throughout the full team,” said Dr. Mark Lester, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
Despite having symptoms, Duncan was sent home. He was rushed back to the hospital two days later and diagnosed with Ebola.
Now a team from the CDC is scrambling to locate anyone who had close contact with him.
“Retrace every step, every contact where he might have had direct physical contact with somebody,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, from the CDC.READ MORE: BWI Recognized As Best North American Airport Of Its Size By ACI World
Texas health officials are now monitoring 12-18 people, including five school children, who had direct contact with Duncan.
Meanwhile, other states are on alert. Officials from medical facilities here in Maryland say they are on the lookout for anyone experiencing symptoms of Ebola.
“Mainly people with fever and certain symptoms like headache, vomiting, diarrhea, who have traveled to certain parts of West Africa or have been in contact with people who have traveled there,” said Dr. Patrick McGinley, Sinai Hospital.
Dr. McGinley says despite this latest scare, Ebola is not easily spread.
“The risk of a large scale outbreak would be pretty low,” he said.
As for Duncan, he remains in isolation at a Texas hospital.
Officials with the Maryland Department of Health plan to hold a news conference Thursday to discuss the state’s preparedness for Ebola.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has sickened 6,500 people and killed more than 3,000.MORE NEWS: Firefighter Injured After Roof Collapses During Blaze At Odenton Motel 6
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