CDC: 48 people being followed after contact with Ebola patient

Forty-eight individuals are being monitored for 21 days because of potential Ebola exposure after health officials determined they may have had contact with a man diagnosed with Ebola in Texas, according to the CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Ten of those — seven health care workers and three family members/friends — are considered higher-risk because they definitely had contact with the patient. The remaining 38 are at low risk but being monitored because contact could not be ruled out.

“After initial discussions with the hospital and patients, we determined there were 114 potential contacts,” David Lakey, MD, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said during a media briefing. “Forty-eight of those individuals we need to follow on a daily basis. Most are considered low risk, but there are 10 who are at higher risk and we continue to watch those individuals very closely.”

A member of the public health team visits these individuals for a temperature check twice a day. Health care workers who are considered high risk are furloughed with pay and are not to travel outside of the city. The low-risk individuals have no travel restrictions. There is a plan in place for those who do not adhere to these guidelines.  

According to Beth Bell, MD, director of CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, it is important to recognize that there is not a high level of concern that these people have Ebola.

Beth P. Bell 

Beth Bell

“Contact tracing is the pivotal component for Ebola cases, and we think it’s prudent to check in with these people for the 21-day incubation period,” Bell said during the media briefing. “But there is not a high level of concern.”

Four individuals are quarantined in an apartment where there are items soiled by the patient. According to Judge Clay Jenkins of Dallas County, these items have yet to be removed because of permit issues. — Updated 10/6/14