Fifty people are being monitored daily for Ebola after having been in contact—directly or indirectly—with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Friday. That’s down from the 80 to 100 who were assessed for potential exposure earlier this week. Ten are considered high-risk.
Texas health commissioner David Lakey said officials are “throwing a broad net” and that they do not expect that all of the people being monitored will have contracted Ebola. Beth Bell, an official at the CDC, added that there is a “low level of concern about the vast majority of these patients.”
Dallas has been at the center of efforts to stop the spread of Ebola in the U.S. after health officials there confirmed the first diagnosis of the disease on U.S. soil on Tuesday. Duncan had traveled from Liberia to Dallas in late September.
After isolating Duncan, officials began a process of identifying who else might have been exposed to the virus. Officials initially assessed 80 to 100 people and subsequently narrowed that list to 50 people to monitor with daily visits from health officials. The high-risk patients will receive twice-daily visits.
The news that 50 people would be monitored came the same day as a patient who recently returned from Nigeria was admitted to a D.C. hospital with Ebola-like symptoms. A Howard University Hospital spokesperson said a decision to isolate the patient was made “in an abundance of caution.”
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