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Timeline: How Ebola Made Its Way to the U.S.

A timeline of how a man contracted Ebola and became the first case diagnosed in the United States.

The state of Texas said Thursday that as many as 100 people might have come into contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., or had contact with those he came across. Health officials are finding them and monitoring symptoms — and seeking to calm public fear of a wider outbreak.

Here's a timeline of the case, compiled from information provided by federal and state health authorities; Dallas school, fire and hospital officials; and NBC News reporting.

Sept. 15: Duncan takes his friend and neighbor Nathaline Williams, 19 and seven months pregnant, in a cab to a hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, believing that she is having a miscarriage, according to an interview with the cabdriver. The cabdriver later tells Dr. Nancy Snyderman of NBC News that Duncan carried Williams back to her apartment after four hospitals would not take her. Williams later dies from Ebola. The driver later says Duncan appeared to be well.

Sept. 19: Duncan leaves Monrovia on Brussels Airlines Flight 1247 to Brussels, Belgium, the first step of a trip to the U.S. to visit family. He takes United Airlines Flight 951 from Brussels to Dulles airport outside Washington, D.C.

Sept. 20: Duncan takes United Flight 822 from Dulles to Dallas. Health officials later say Duncan was not showing symptoms while he was traveling. Ebola is spread only through direct contact with the body fluids of an infected patient who is symptomatic.

Sept. 24: Duncan begins to show symptoms.

Sept. 26: Duncan goes to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. He is examined and sent home with antibiotics. He tells hospital staff that he recently traveled from Liberia, but that information is not passed along.

Sept. 28: Dallas fire and rescue is called to the apartment complex in Dallas where Duncan is staying. He is taken to the same hospital and admitted.

Sept. 29: A relative, Josephus Weeks, calls the 800 number of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is told to call the state health department, according to Weeks' account. He is called back several times, he says. He later accuses health officials of not moving fast enough. A state health official later tells NBC News that a call took place and that Weeks and other relatives told health authorities that Duncan had no contact with anyone who had Ebola.

Sept. 30: Medical tests confirm that Duncan has Ebola. The CDC and state health officials call a news conference and alert the public.

Oct. 1: Dallas fire reports that all its ambulance workers have tested negative for Ebola. They are sent home, to be monitored for 21 days. Dallas schools report that five children in four schools may have had contact with Duncan but are not showing symptoms. Schools stress to parents that there is "no imminent danger to your child." Dallas County health officials say they are watching 10 to 18 people who had close contact with Duncan, mainly family and close friends, and would "not be shocked" if a second case surfaces.

Oct. 2: Duncan is listed in serious condition by the hospital. State health officials say they are looking at about 100 people who may have had contact with Duncan or his relatives. Dallas County says 80 people had contact either directly with Duncan or with people who had contact with Duncan. Duncan's family is ordered by state health officials to stay home, with no visitors unless health officials give their approval, until Oct. 19. The hospital says a software flaw kept a physician from seeing that Duncan had recently traveled from Liberia, leading the hospital to initially send him home. United Airlines says it is trying to notify as many as 400 people who may have been on Duncan's flights to the U.S., referring them to the CDC.


— Tom Winter, M.L. Flynn and Robert Dembo