Fourteen people who had contact with Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan have successfully completed their surveillance and others on the watch list are expected to come off Sunday and Monday, officials said Saturday.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said “this is a critical weekend” because if no new cases are reported, the region is “statistically less likely to see more cases.”
Among those expected to come off the list Monday are Louis Troh, the woman Duncan had flown to Dallas to marry, and the three children who were with her and Duncan in the apartment.
Duncan arrived in Dallas from Liberia on Sept. 20, became ill Sept. 24 and died from the Ebola virus Oct. 8 at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. Two nurses who cared for Duncan — Nina Pham and Amber Joy Vinson — contracted the virus and are being treated at hospitals in Bethesda, Md., and Atlanta.
As of 5 p.m. Friday, 159 people had been or were being monitored for contact or possible contact with one of three Ebola patients, related to the disease in Dallas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those, 11 are known contacts and 148 are possible contacts. It is not clear how many of those possible contacts are in North Texas and how many are in Ohio, where Vinson flew last weekend.
Officials in Ohio said Saturday afternoon that 116 people were being monitored in that state for Ebola symptoms.
Of the 14 who have cleared the 21-day incubation period for the deadly virus, four had definite contact with Duncan and 10 had possible contact, according to the CDC.
Scare at DART station
A woman who visited the apartment complex where Duncan had stayed fell ill Saturday afternoon at a DART station in east Dallas, prompting officials to shut down bus and rail service at the stop.
The Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s White Rock Station reopened shortly after 5 p.m. after the woman was taken to a local hospital for evaluation and the station cleaned, according to Morgan Lyons, DART spokesman.
The woman did not have contact with Duncan and is not being monitored for Ebola symptoms, authorities said.
The woman became sick after she got off a northbound train and spit on the platform, Lyons said.
Lyons said the woman had visited and stayed at the apartment complex “some time ago” where Duncan was staying.
She was treated at the scene by Dallas Fire Rescue and later transferred to a hospital, Lyons said.
“The train used by the customer will be removed from service and cleaned consistent with our established protocols for cleaning hazardous materials,” Lyons said in a statement emailed to the Star-Telegram.
Memorial service held
Duncan, 42, was remembered Saturday as a compassionate man whose virtues may have led to his infection with Ebola in his native Liberia and death in Dallas.
“Let’s not forget how he died. He died helping someone,” said Harry Korkoryah, Duncan’s half brother. “He answered that call from God.”
Family and friends gathered Saturday at a Southern Baptist church with a primarily Liberian flock in Salisbury, N.C., near where Duncan’s mother lives.
Mitch Mitchell contributed to this report, which includes material from the Associated Press.