Parents rushed to get their children from school Wednesday after learning that five students may have had contact with the Ebola patient in a Dallas hospital, as Gov. Rick Perry and other leaders reassured the public that there is no cause for alarm.
The patient, identified by The Associated Press as Thomas Eric Duncan of Liberia, arrived in the U.S. on Sept. 20 to visit family. Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson said county officials suspect that 12 to 18 people may have had contact with Duncan.
“Right now, the base number is 18 people, and that could increase,” he said. Thompson said more details are expected by Thursday afternoon. The number includes five students at four schools, Dallas school district Superintendent Mike Miles said.
“This case is serious,” Perry said during a news conference at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where Duncan is being treated. “Rest assured that our system is working as it should. Professionals on every level on the chain of command know what to do to minimize this potential risk to the people of Texas and of this country.”
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