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Officials try to reassure public of Ebola containment while tracking possible exposures – Part 1

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  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    We further explore the efforts to contain and deal with the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. Officials sought to reassure Americans there are systems in place to control its spread, even amid local reports of a possible second case and new confirmation that others appear to have been exposed.

    The Ebola patient at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas was identified today as Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian visiting the U.S. Officials also announced that five schoolchildren are among 12 to 18 people who came in contact with Duncan, and they are now being closely watched.

  • Texas Governor Rick Perry:

  • GOV. RICK PERRY, (R) Texas:

    These children have been identified and they are being monitored. And the disease cannot be transmitted before having any symptoms.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Not much is known about Duncan, except that he traveled from Liberia with a stopover in Brussels, Belgium, on September 19, then flew on to Dallas the next day.

    Under screening policies at many West African airports, he was checked for signs of fever before boarding in Monrovia, but wasn’t sick then. Then, six days after arriving in Dallas, he went to an emergency room with a fever and was sent home. Two days later, he returned and was admitted.

  • DR. EDWARD GOODMAN, Epidemiologist, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital:

    Since his arrival on Friday, he wasn’t vomiting or having diarrhea. And, therefore, there was no exposures. So we really think there is very little likelihood that any health care worker was exposed on Friday, and certainly virtually zero exposure starting Sunday.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Ambulance workers who transported Duncan tested negative for Ebola, but they’re now under quarantine. Doctors say they’re tracking all of Duncan’s movements, but state health officials say Dallas is equipped to stop Ebola’s spread.

  • DR. DAVID LAKEY, Commissioner, Texas Department of State Health Services:

    This is not West Africa. This is a very sophisticated city, a very sophisticated hospital. And the dynamics are so significantly different than they are in East Africa — excuse me — in West Africa — that the chances of it being spread are very, very, very small.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Back in Liberia, some 2000 people have already died from the disease, with thousands more infected. The chief of the U.N. mission there appealed again for help.

  • KARIN LANDGREN, U.N. Special Representative to Liberia:

    The world is absolutely not doing enough yet. We are still challenged to outrun the disease. And as long as the new cases continue to increase the way they are, as long as we look around and don’t see spare bed spaces in Ebola treatment units, we know we aren’t winning yet.

    Ebola needs to be tackled here, or it will be on everyone else’s doorstep, and the Texas case shows us this.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    U.S. Navy engineers have now broken ground on a new Ebola facility in Liberia to house 25 patients.

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