October 2014 – HEALTH – An American patient treated for Ebola in Nebraska then released is now in isolation in a hospital in Massachusetts. And an Ebola patient in Dallas has slipped into critical condition. Dr. Richard Sacra, who had been previously treated for Ebola, went to an emergency room early Saturday in Boston with a cough and fever, said missionary organization Serving in Mission. He was afraid he might have pneumonia. Because of his previous infection, he was transferred to the UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, the center said in a statement. Doctors there don’t believe his symptoms point to a recurrence of Ebola, but instead a respiratory infection. But they are keeping Sacra in isolation, in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, until the CDC gives the all clear. “We’re waiting for final test results from the CDC, which we expect to receive late Monday,” said lead physician Dr. Robert Finberg. Sacra had worked as a medical missionary in Liberia but not directly with Ebola patients. Nevertheless, he contracted the disease. He was treated in isolation at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha then released after testing negative for the virus.
Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States, is now in critical condition, a Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital spokeswoman said Saturday. The Liberian man had previously been listed as being in serious condition. Hospital spokeswoman Candace White offered no new details other than his condition. Earlier, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Duncan was in intensive care. About 10 people are at “higher risk” of catching Ebola after coming into contact with Duncan but have shown no symptoms, health officials said Saturday. The group is among 50 people being monitored daily, but the other 40 are considered “low risk,” said Dr. David Lakey, the commissioner of Texas department of state health services. The nine people who had definite contact with the Ebola patient — including family members and health care professionals — have been monitored and show no symptoms or fevers, Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Saturday. “We have already gotten well over 100 inquiries of possible patients,” Frieden told reporters. “We’ve assessed every one of those … and just this one patient has tested positive … we expect that we will see more rumors or concerns or possibilities of cases, until there is a positive laboratory test, that is what they are.”
Health officials did not provide details on the location of those being monitored or where they interacted with Duncan. Monitoring includes a visit from a public health expert and temperature checks twice a day. None of them has had symptoms of Ebola so far, according to Lakey. The latest figure is a drastic reduction of a number that had originally been put at 100 after initial talks with Duncan and hospital officials. Duncan landed in Dallas on September 20, and started feeling sick days later. He made his initial visit to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on September 25. He was released with antibiotics but went back three days later and was quickly isolated. A blood test Tuesday confirmed he had Ebola, the first case of the deadly virus diagnosed on American soil. –CNN