UPDATE 10:17 p.m. EST: Government health officials believe 10 people have a "high risk" of having been exposed to the ebola virus through contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, CBS reports. Meanwhile, AFP reports that a fourth American has contracted ebola in Liberia. Ashoka Mukpo, 33, was working as a freelance camera operator for NBC News and is in quarantine in a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) treatment center.
UPDATE 7:47 p.m. EST: The quarantined family has been relocated to a private home in Dallas, reports CNN.
Original story begins here:
Four people who had contact with Ebola virus disease patient Thomas Eric Duncan exited the apartment in Dallas Friday where they had been under quarantine, while a private hazardous-material team entered it to clear out potentially contaminated materials, such as bedsheets and towels. The family members are reportedly headed to an undisclosed different location to continue their 21-day quarantine.
â€” Jason Whitely (@JasonWhitely) October 3, 2014
Meanwhile, Texas health officials said Friday they have narrowed the group of people who may have come into contact with Duncan to about 50 from as many as 100. Duncan, the first person in the U.S. to be diagnosed with the deadly virus, is continuing treatment at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said at a press conference Friday he hoped to improve the living conditions of the family. Armed guards were posted at the apartment after family members failed to comply with a request by health officials to remain there.
“I am concerned for this family,” the Dallas Morning News quoted Jenkins as saying. “I want to see this family treated the way I would want to see my own family treated.”
Cleaning Guys, a private hazmat-cleanup company, told CNN Friday it had not yet received a permit to transport potentially biohazardous materials. But workers were seen in yellow hazmat suits collecting materials at the apartment.
Duncan’s girlfriend Louise Troh, her son and two nephews must wait until Oct. 19 to ensure they have not contracted the virus, which can be spread by saliva, sweat and other bodily fluids. Troh told the Associated Press that they are “stressed” about their confinement.
Jenkins visited the family with two epidemiologists and apologized for the delay in getting the family into better accommodations. Since Monday, they have been ordered to remain indoors and not receive visitors. Shortly before Friday noon, a hazmat team arrived at the Vickery Meadow apartment complex, and the four family members were subsequently seen departing the apartment.
Private hazmat cleaning company arriving at complex were man with Ebola in Dallas was staying pic.twitter.com/3lZ22TIuMy
â€” Devon M. Sayers (@devonmsayers) October 3, 2014
A Liberian national, Duncan arrived in the U.S. Sept. 20 from his West African country to visit his girlfriend Troh. Five days later, she took him to Texas Health Presbyterian for treatment of a fever and headache. At the time, however, he was neither admitted nor asked where he had traveled recently. Three days later, he was taken back to the hospital by ambulance, after which doctors diagnosed Duncan with Ebola.