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Person County quarantine aimed to keep public calm over Ebola scare

Posted November 4, 2014

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— North Carolina's state epidemiologist said Tuesday that three Person County residents under quarantine while a family member from Liberia is monitored for Ebola are of no risk to the community but are choosing to isolate themselves to avoid contributing to any public fear of the virus or misunderstanding of how it spreads.

Meanwhile, the unidentified patient – in isolation at Duke University Hospital in Durham – continues to show no symptoms of the disease and is waiting for additional testing, which will likely happen Wednesday, Dr. Megan Davies told reporters at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

"The family is working with the health department and understands the importance of reassuring the community by staying home while we wait for a second test," Davies said. "We don't see a risk of transmission of disease from any of these family members."

If the confirmatory test comes back negative, Davies added, the patient will be released.

Health officials have not released the person's age, race or gender for privacy reasons but say the person is a visitor and does not live in Person County.

He or she arrived from Liberia at Newark Liberty International Airport on Saturday and traveled by bus to Durham County, where family members met him or her.

The person – who had no known exposure to Ebola – self-monitored and called the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention once developing a fever of 101.9 degrees Sunday night.

He or she has been quarantined at Duke Hospital since then, and about 10-12 hospital employees have come in direct contact with the patient.

Those employees, hospital officials have said, have been told to avoid contact with others but have not been quarantined.

The ambulance used to transport the patient has also been taken out of commission until the second test result is returned.

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  • Kenny Dunn Nov 5, 2014
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    I tend to listen to the public health officials in matters regarding public health. I have not heard any calling for this.

  • iopsyc Nov 5, 2014

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    It is indeed an opinion. If you prefer facts, consider that the only two people to catch Ebola on US soil were exposed to an extremely sick man while he was at his most contagious. The general public is at a very low risk of exposure. A travel ban would not do what it purports to do, it only serves to allay fears generated by the very politicians pushing for it.

  • Jeff Johnson Nov 5, 2014
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    And that's an opinion. One that ignores the risk a Level 4 contagion posses.

  • iopsyc Nov 5, 2014

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    That's an absurd overreaction.

  • tri123 Nov 5, 2014

    So are all those people who are having their delicate little feelings protected going to contribute to pay these people their lost wages and pay their employers their lost productivity?

  • Hubris Nov 4, 2014

    I hope the tests come back negative and this person gets better. In the meantime the US needs to quarantine people that have come from ebola infected parts of Africa.

  • alshomes Nov 4, 2014

    Stop the entrance of all foreign travel if in a country where Ebola is found.