FRISCO, Texas (AP) — A sheriff’s deputy who went into the apartment where the Dallas Ebola patient stayed was hospitalized out of an “abundance of caution” after falling ill Wednesday, officials said.
The deputy went to an urgent care clinic in Frisco, a northern suburb of Dallas, and was exhibiting enough symptoms of Ebola to trigger a preliminary screening, Frisco fire Chief Mark Piland said. He did not specify the symptoms.
The clinic initially reported having a patient who claimed to have had contact with the man diagnosed with the disease in Dallas. But federal and state officials said there’s no indication the deputy had any direct contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, who died Wednesday morning at a Dallas hospital.
“The latest information we have is no definite contact, no definite symptoms” of Ebola, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said of the deputy during a Wednesday afternoon news conference.
The Dallas County sheriff’s office confirmed the man is a Dallas County deputy. Piland said he was in the Dallas apartment where Duncan stayed before his hospitalization and had contact with the family living in the apartment.
Health officials say none of the family has exhibited symptoms and wouldn’t have been contagious; the disease can be spread only through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an already sick person.
The deputy is not among 48 people who have been monitored by health officials after having had varying degrees of contact with Duncan, and Piland said his exposure is being treated as “a low-risk event.”
Associated Press writer Lauran Neergaard in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.