Ebola monitoring ends for Texas hospital employee

The last person in Texas under surveillance in connection to the state's three confirmed Ebola cases completed the 21-day quarantine period on Friday and has been released from monitoring.

The individual works at a hospital and handled medical waste connected to an Ebola case on Oct. 17.

The state had been monitoring 177 people connected to the three confirmed cases, including community members, household contacts and health care professionals. They all had personal contact with the patients, or came into contact with Ebola medical waste or Ebola specimens.

Physicians also cleared passengers who were on a flight from Dallas to Cleveland with a Texas health care professional who was later diagnosed with Ebola.

“We’re happy to reach this milestone, but our guard stays up,” Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said. “We reached this point through teamwork and meticulous monitoring, and we’ll continue to be vigilant to protect Texas from Ebola.”

No additional Ebola cases have been diagnosed in Texas.

The first Ebola patient in Texas was diagnosed on Sept. 3. Local and state health professionals have coordinated with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to continue ensuring the safety of Texans.

The CDC has confirmed that 50 Texans traveling from countries with Ebola cases are at risk of developing the deadly disease.

One of those is a nurse who was helping to treat Ebola patients in Sierra Leone. The CDC reports that she is at “some risk” because of her exposure to the virus. She has agreed to stay quarantined in her home for the 21-day period.

The CDC considers the other 49 people as “low risk” for Ebola contamination. They will be monitored for Ebola symptoms, but not quarantined.

Health professionals will continue to monitor all travelers entering Texas from foreign countries with Ebola cases. 

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Texas Department of Health Services

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