Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Monnig was hospitalized after showing possible Ebola symptoms, Dallas-area media reported Wednesday.
“The deputy expressed concern and we directed that deputy to the Dallas County Health & Human Services for care,” the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. “We now wait for further information as medical staff attends to the deputy.”
The patient — who was transported from Frisco, Texas — had reported being in the Dallas apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan had been staying and having “some contact” with Duncan’s family members, Frisco Fire Chief Mark Piland told reporters.
But he never had any contact with Duncan, and he doesn’t have a fever, Texas Department of State Health Services spokesman Chris Van Deusen said.
“In a situation with no fever and no contact, there is no risk,” Van Deusen said in a written statement.
“We understand that anyone near the Dallas response will be very concerned about any health issues they experience, and we want them to report those issues so we can check them out quickly,” Van Deusen said. “We’re closely tracking those whose contact put them at risk of potential infection, and none of those people have reported any symptoms of Ebola.”
Monnig was a first responder and had spent about 30 minutes in the apartment, his son told CNN affiliate KTVT. He woke up Wednesday, feeling sore and fatigued and with a stomachache.
“With the situation, what’s happened, he just decided it would be better to be safe than sorry,” Logan Monnig told KTVT.
The family does not expect that Monnig has Ebola, but still, his son said, “we’re kind of scared and just want to make sure he’s OK.”
The patient exhibited several possible symptoms of Ebola, Piland said.
“He had several, but not all five or six. He exhibited enough to trigger the preliminary screening,” Piland said. Health officials, he said, are “treating this as a low-risk event.”
The patient was admitted to the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas “after reporting possible exposure to the Ebola virus,” the hospital said.
“Right now, there are more questions than answers about this case,” the hospital said. “Our professional staff of nurses and doctors is prepared to examine the patient, discuss any findings with appropriate agencies and officials.”
Asked about the case by reporters, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden said the patient “does not have either definite contact with Ebola or definite symptoms of Ebola.”
A spokeswoman for CareNow, which made the call to emergency dispatchers, said the medical center “was being very cautious” after the patient checked yes in response to a screening question regarding travel to West Africa.
“We’ve had a patient that checked yes to one of the screening questions regarding travel to West Africa,” CareNow spokeswoman Vickie Johnson told CNN. “We are being very cautious and are in contact with the health department to ensure we follow proper protocol. Our concern is for the safety and well-being of everyone in our clinic.”
The new patient’s case was the latest development as fears and concerns over Ebola spread worldwide. With multiple developments on numerous fronts, here’s what you need to know to quickly get caught up on the latest:
WEST AFRICAN CASES
To date, the world’s largest outbreak of Ebola has killed more than 3,400 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — the nations hardest hit. Since March, more than 7,400 people have contracted Ebola in those nations, according to the World Health Organization. A handful of cases have been reported in Nigeria and Senegal as well. The CDC says infections could reach 1.4 million in four months.
Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, died Wednesday, according to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where he was being treated.
Duncan had been on a ventilator and on dialysis for failing kidneys, health officials said.
Duncan received an experimental medicine nearly a week after being admitted into a hospital — a far longer wait than experienced by four other Ebola patients treated in the United States. The others are Americans; Duncan is Liberian.
NBC cameraman recovering:
NBC cameraman Ashoka Mukpo is “reasonably stable,” but a doctor cautioned it’s too early to say he’s out of the woods. The American citizen got infected in Liberia, and he was airlifted to Omaha, Nebraska, for treatment Sunday. He’s receiving an experimental drug called brincidofovir, or CMX001.
Dr. Kent Brantly, an Ebola survivor, has donated his blood to Mukpo, which may contain life-saving antibodies, according to the Samaritan’s Purse aid group. Brantly previously did the same for another Ebola patient, Dr. Rick Sacra, who was treated at the same Omaha center as Mukpo and survived.
Spain ramps up response:
After a nurse’s assistant in Spain became the first person to contract Ebola outside Africa in the current outbreak, six people related to the case were in a Madrid hospital as of late Wednesday, including two doctors and a male nurse admitted earlier in the day, Carlos III hospital said in a press release.
The nurse’s assistant is the only one confirmed to have Ebola. Besides the three new cases, the others include the woman’s husband, judged to be at high risk of infection, and a nurse from the same hospital. Two others were released from Carlos III hospital earlier Wednesday — a Spanish man who’d recently come from Nigeria and a female nurse.
Norwegian tests positive:
An unnamed Norwegian national, a staffer with Doctors Without Borders, has contracted the virus while working in Sierra Leone. The staffer was put in isolation Sunday and will be moved to Europe for treatment.
Sporadic Ebola infections will be unavoidable in some European countries because of direct travel from their hubs to hotspot areas in West Africa, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. But the risk of spread, it said, is avoidable and extremely low.
The Ebola outbreak may dominate the headlines, but few Americans are opening up their wallets. Four major U.S. aid organizations surveyed by CNNMoney have received a combined total of $19.5 million so far. Much of that came from nonprofit foundations, not individual donors. Last month, the United Nations said it would need nearly $1 billion to fight the virus.