Last fall, when a patient from Liberia was diagnosed with the deadly Ebola virus at a Dallas hospital, fear gripped North Texas and the nation because the disease, which was spreading rapidly in three African countries, had made its way to our shores.
Ebola had already touched someone with ties to Fort Worth. Dr. Kent Brantly, who studied medicine here, was treating people in Liberia when he contracted the disease.
The patient in Dallas, Thomas Eric Duncan, died. Then Nina Pham, who grew up in Fort Worth and worked in the Dallas hospital treating Duncan, was stricken. Pham was treated and survived.
The disease had spread widely in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, the country with the most deaths (4,117).
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But this week there was joyous and seemingly miraculous news from Liberia. It was announced that the country’s last patient being treated for Ebola was released from the hospital.
While that was cause for celebration, officials warned they are still tracking more than 100 people for possible exposure, and that there was a recent spike in cases in Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Still, this is very hopeful news.