Health officials in Texas are now reporting the patient in Dallas who has contracted the Ebola virus, has been in contact with approximately 100 people.
Erikka Neros, spokeswoman for the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department has said there are between 12 and 18 people who were in direct contact with the patient, while the number of “contact traces” is now 80.
All of those who came into some sort of contact with Thomas Duncan, the Ebola patient in question, are being monitored closely.
Carrie Williams, the Texas Department of State Health Services, said in a statement, according to NPR, “Out of an abundance of caution, we’re starting with this very wide net, including people who have had even brief encounters with the patient or the patient’s home. The number will drop as we focus in on those whose contact may represent a potential risk of infection.”
Initially, the number of those who came in contact with Duncan was closer to 18 people, according to RT.
An early report from the Dallas Morning News said Duncan arrived at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Sept. 25. He told health staff at the time he was suffering from fever and stomach aches, and he had recently been to Liberia, one of the Ebola stricken nations in Africa.
CDC guidelines say Duncan should have been placed in isolation and tested for Ebola immediately, but the news of Duncan’s travel did not reach key medical staff at the hospital. As a result, Duncan was given a combination of antibiotics and then sent home, according to FOX News.
The family of Duncan are amongst those being monitored, and Texas health officials have quarantined the family. They are not allowed, under a state “control order,” to leave their home or have any contact with anyone outside of their home for 21 days, and all family members must be available at all times for health tests, according to USA Today.
If any of the family members break this “control order,” they could potentially face criminal charges.