A woman and three children who came into contact with a Liberian diagnosed with the deadly Ebola virus in Dallas have been moved to a home secluded from neighbors, officials in the Texas city said Friday as they tried to reassure the public they posed no danger to others.
“It poses no risk to the public,” said Judge Clay Jenkins, Dallas' chief executive. “There is zero risk. These people are asymptomatic.”
Jenkins said hazmat workers sprayed a bleach-like substance on clothing and other materials before sealing them in barrels as they removed items from the apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan stayed before he was diagnosed with Ebola Tuesday.
Duncan's girlfriend, Louise, and three children Friday were moved from their home to house in a secluded area of Dallas that had been donated after Jenkins called upon a “faith friend” for help. “I told them, ‘There’s no room at the inn. We need your help.’ That faith friend was able to find something safe and secure,” Jenkins said. He said the new home has four bedrooms and “room to roam.”
Health officials are checking on family members who may have had contact with Duncan, making sure they don’t feel unwell. Duncan is in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Ebola has killed more than 3,400 people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlins said the public should not be concerned, and urged people to attend public events this weekend, like Friday night football games and a state fair. “I want everyone to get out and have a good time. We’ve got to get out and show the spirit of Dallas,” he said. “People understand we’ll get through this.”
— Phil Helsel