The New York Times

Health Officials Seek 10th Ebola Contact

5th day since first Ebola case diagnosed in Dallas

Health officials said nine people known to have been in close contact with a Dallas Ebola patient don't have any symptoms, but that they're now searching for a 10th person to monitor.

Thomas Eric Duncan, who arrived in Dallas from West Africa, and is the first person diagnosed with Ebola virus in the United States, is in critical condition, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said Saturday afternoon. Duncan's nephew Josephus Weeks told NBC News Saturday that his uncle is on a ventilator. He's been in isolation in the ICU since Sept. 28.

The CDC has assessed 114 people who might have had exposure to Duncan, according to Tom Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 40 of those people might have had contact with Duncan and they are being watched as a precaution.

Nine individuals are considered high-risk, including family members of Duncan's household and healthcare workers who had definite contact with Duncan are also among those being closely monitored, Frieden said. None of them have a fever or other symptoms of Ebola.

A spokeswoman for judge Clay Jenkins said in a press release that the Dallas County Sheriff's and Dallas Police departments are looking for "a low-risk individual who has been identified by our local team as a contact." Officials said they planned to isolate the unidentified person for 21 days strictly as a precuationary measure.

"We are working to locate the individual and get him to a comfortable, compassionate place where we can monitor him and care for his every need for the full incubation period," the release stated.

The diagnosis of the first case in the U.S. has increased attention to travel history of patients being admitted to hospitals. The CDC said it expects to see more rumors and concerns and possibilities of Ebola. The CDC, Texas Department of State Health Services and Dallas County authorities said Satuday protecting the public is a priority.

Hazmat crews cleaned the apartment where Ebola patient, Thomas Duncan, stayed. And Duncan’s family was transported to their new home by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

Duncan tested positive for Ebola less than two weeks after he arrived in the U.S. from West Africa, health officials confirmed Tuesday. He initially sought care at a hospital Sept. 25, shortly after showing symptoms, but was released. He returned Sept. 28 and was flagged as a potential Ebola case. 

"There were things that did not go the way they should have in Dallas," acknowledged Fauci, director of NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "But there were a lot of things that went right and are going right."

Friday night, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital released a statement contradicting information it released Thursday night.

Originally the hospital said a flaw in its system prevented Duncan's physician from seeing his travel history as recorded by a nurse. Friday night, the hospital said there was no flaw in the system, although it's unclear what that means.

NBC 5 has asked the hospital to clarify and still awaits a response.

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