Quarantine Ends For Ebola Patient’s Contacts

Thomas Eric Duncan’s family receives the all-clear, but more than a hundred people remain under close watch in the US.

Dozens of people who were closely monitored after having contact with a Liberian man who died of ebola at a Dallas hospital have received the all-clear.

The 21-day quarantine period ended overnight for 43 of 48 people who interacted with Thomas Eric Duncan, marking a crucial milestone in US efforts to contain the disease.

Mr Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed in the US with ebola, died at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on 8 October. Two nurses who treated him also contracted the virus.

The Liberian’s partner, Louise Troh, her 13-year-old son and two other people have been in a state-mandated quarantine at an undisclosed location in Dallas.

Others were under less restrictive measures.

Some 120 people are still being monitored, Texas health officials said on Monday.

Officials said the people removed from the watch lists so far showed no symptoms during the incubation period.

“There’s zero risk that any of those people who have been marked off the list have ebola,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said.

“They were in contact with a person who had ebola and the time period for them to get ebola has lapsed. It is over. They do not have ebola.”

Ms Troh, 54, spent three weeks confined to a home, undergoing twice-daily temperature readings by government healthcare workers.

On Sunday, it was announced that a third Dallas hospital worker tested negative for ebola. The woman disembarked a cruise ship where she had been quarantined in Galveston, Texas.

Meanwhile, health officials in Ohio are monitoring more than 100 people following a visit by one of the infected Dallas nurses.

Amber Vinson’s stepfather is under strict quarantine at his home in an Akron suburb, where she stayed during her trip. He is the only person in the state under such restrictions.

Hundreds of people who flew on the plane she boarded, or who were subsequently passengers on the aircraft, have been notified by Frontier Airlines.

A handful of Miss Vinson’s fellow passengers have placed themselves under voluntary quarantine, though they are thought to be at low risk of contracting the disease.

Vinson, 29, is being treated at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, while her colleague Nina Pham, 26, is at the National Institutes of Health outside Washington.

In a public letter on Saturday night, Texas Health Resources, which owns Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, said it was “deeply sorry” for its mistakes, including initially not diagnosing Mr Duncan with ebola.

President Barack Obama issued a weekend appeal for Americans not to give in to ebola “hysteria”, but many remain on edge.