Dallas County Locates Low-Risk Ebola Contact

It's been one week since first Ebola case diagnosed in Dallas

Dallas County officials have found and are monitoring the homeless man they say may have come into contact with Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan but whom they consider low-risk.

“So we had a person – it’s now known rode in the ambulance after Mr. Duncan rode in the ambulance but before it was placed out of service,” Jenkins said, “Because of the protocols that go on in an ambulance we think the risk is very, very low.”

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said officers obtained a type of protective order for 52-year-old Michael Lively on Saturday. Jenkins says Lively was check for symptoms Saturday but showed none.

Lively was told he needed to be monitored, but he left, added Dr. David Lakey of the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Jenkins was taken to Parkland Hospital this afternoon, and is now being held at an undisclosed location, according to Jenkins.

“The officers had a protective order similar to the one that needed to be placed on the family earlier in the week because we could not get him to a regular location at daily time intervals to do our monitoring up to the safest standards,” Jenkins said, “that was the type of paperwork they were serving – they saw some things there that caused them concern and took him for an evaluation.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief Dr. Thomas Frieden emphasized that Lively is not a danger, adding that Ebola can only be spread by infected people who show symptoms. If an exposed person does not develop symptoms within 21 days of exposure, the person will not become sick with Ebola, the CDC said.

Only 10 people are now believed to have had direct contact with Duncan and are considered high risk, officials said Sunday. Those 10 people are three family or community members and seven health care workers.

Those 10 high-risk contacts are among the 48 people health officials will be tracking for 21 days. If any of those 48 people develops a fever, they will be isolated immediately and tested for EBola, the CDC said Sunday.

Another 66 people have been ruled out for Ebola, after the CDC assessed a total of 114 people in Dallas it thought may have been exposed to Duncan.

Duncan, who arrived in Dallas from West Africa last month and is the first person diagnosed with Ebola virus in the United States, is in critical condition Sunday. He's been in isolation in the ICU since Sept. 28.

Contact Us