Ebola Patient in Dallas Now in Critical Condition
(HealthDay News) — The first Ebola patient to be diagnosed in the United States has "taken a turn for the worse," federal health officials said Sunday. Thomas Eric Duncan, a native of Liberia, is receiving supportive care at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. Hospital officials have changed his condition from serious to critical.
Meanwhile, a homeless man who may have been exposed to Ebola has been found, Dallas officials reported late Sunday afternoon. Officials identified him as a person who rode in an ambulance after it transported Duncan to the hospital. David Lakey, MD, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said at the noon news briefing the homeless man was one of 38 people considered at low risk for Ebola infection. These people are being monitored because they can't be ruled out, but are not known to have direct contact with Duncan or his bodily fluids.
Another 10 people – a mix of family, friends, and health care workers – are being more closely observed because they are known to have come into contact with Duncan while he was contagious, Thomas Frieden, MD, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during the news briefing. None of the known or suspected contacts has developed any symptoms of Ebola, officials said.
In other Ebola news, President Barack Obama will meet with national security advisers on Monday to discuss the Ebola outbreak and the administration's response, the Associated Press reported. U.S. health officials have warned that the epidemic could strike as many as 1.4 million people by mid-January unless the global community mounts a rapid and concerted response to the crisis.