The head of the National Institutes for Health (NIH) said Thursday an error regarding diagnosing the Ebola virus must be put “behind us”, even though up to 100 people have been advised to watch for symptoms by the state of Texas.
Initially, about 80 individuals were told to monitor for symptoms of the Ebola virus by Dallas County officials, but that number was increased to as many as 100 by the state, reports The Los Angeles Times.
The patient, Liberian man Thomas Eric Duncan, developed symptoms and tested positive for Ebola while visiting family in the Dallas area. The family has been told to stay home and not welcome any visitors as a precaution. Their temperatures are being closely monitored, as fever is an early symptom of the virus. Duncan, The LA Times reports, is in serious condition and in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
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His nephew places blame on the hospital for allowing the outbreak to happen, as CNN reports Duncan initially went to the hospital’s emergency department, complained of various symptoms, told the hospital he had traveled from Liberia, and was still released. He was given blood tests, but was not given an Ebola screening. He returned three days later, having developed more symptoms.
Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH, went on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to defend the efforts by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to take steps to ensure Ebola does not spread to other hospitals:
Joe Scarborough, MSNBC: “Can we be assured, can Americans be assured that hospitals in their hometowns will ask all the right questions and act appropriately moving forward in ways this Dallas hospital did not?”
Fauci: “Well I hope so, I think this will certainly serve for the rest of the country as a very cogent lesson learned. The CDC over the last several weeks to months have been really putting out the message that when people come in with symptoms that are compatible with Ebola, that’s important to ask for a travel history and to factor that into what your decision is.
“Unfortunately, that did not happen in this case. I think we just need to put that behind us and look ahead and make sure in the future this doesn’t happen again.”
H/T CNS News