Cleanup Begins at Second Ebola Patient’s Dallas Home

Pham's dog moved to a safe, undisclosed location

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a new case of Ebola on Sunday, a team of workers wearing protective gear was already decontaminating the patient's Dallas apartment.

The apartment complex off Marquita Avenue was blocked by caution tape while the decontamination process began that afternoon.

Hours earlier, neighbors awoke to county health department employees who went door-to-door to deliver the news of the city's newest case of Ebola.

The removal of contaminated items wrapped up Monday night.  On Tuesday morning, the yellow caution tape was removed and the Dallas County Sheriff's Deputies standing guard outside of the residence left, leaving only a Code Compliance van at the apartment.

Late Tuesday morning the deputies returned after state command decided to keep security at the apartment.

Officials said the woman who tested positive for Ebola was a health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where she was part of the team that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died there last week.

“It’s surreal knowing that the first contracted case in America is a block away,” said Drew Watson, block captain. “She is a caring individual, doing her job and it’s unfortunate she somehow
contracted this.”

On Sunday, the same group of 15 from CG Environmental, who cleaned the first Ebola patient’s apartment, showed up to Marquita Avenue.

“I’m speechless. I don’t know what my thoughts were. I knew we had to react and do it again,” said company manager Brad Smith.

Workers suited up in hazardous materials suits while yellow barrels were brought in for the patient’s belongings.

They also brought food and water inside for the patient's dog, which remained in the apartment Sunday.

“Animal control will help with that, and we will assist those guys with that as well,” said Smith.

Folks nearby started to take their own precautions, like the Yates family who lives in a home behind the building.

“We share the alleyway with the infected apartment case. Just wanted to be safe and wear gloves, wash our hands after,” said Peter Yates, as he picked up trash in his yard.

They, like many, are shaken up by the fact that the second confirmed patient lives feet away.

“It’s a little unsettling, I guess. I mean, it being in Dallas in general, you’re kind of on high alert and washing your hands, but then it’s literally in your backyard,” said Bonnie Yates.

Cleanup crews returned to the apartment building on Monday and are on phase two of decontaminating the apartment.

At about 3 p.m. Monday, animal control officers arrived at Pham's apartment on Marquita Aveune. They suited up, entered the apartment and removed Phams's dog, Bentley.

The public information officer for the city of Dallas tweeted that the dog was safe. 

Officials said the dog will be taken to an undisclosed location and monitored for Ebola symptoms.

NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this story.

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