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Timberlake home off limits after Ebola scare

Posted November 3, 2014
Updated November 4, 2014

A Person County home was off limits to visitors Monday after a person was taken from the home to Duke University with a fever Sunday.
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— A Person County home was off limits to visitors Monday after a person was taken from the home to Duke University Hospital in Durham with a fever Sunday.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services was monitoring the patient – who traveled from Liberia and has developed a fever – for signs of Ebola, although preliminary test results for the virus were negative.

The patient, whose age, race and gender were not released, took a bus from New Jersey to Durham County, according to state epidemiologist Dr. Megan Davies. He or she was picked up at the bus deport and taken to the Timberlake home, Davies said, and developed a fever on Sunday.

"Keep in mind, this person did not have symptoms while traveling on the bus," Davies said. "Also, keep in mind, this person has not been diagnosed with any specific condition yet."

DHHS said in a statement Monday morning the patient will continue to be interviewed regarding close contacts, activities and travel and that precautionary control measures remain in effect even though officials believe the risk of exposure to others is "extremely low."

Outside the home in Timberlake, Person County sheriff's deputies were keeping visitors and onlookers away.

"They basically told us it might be a disease in the area," said neighbor Wanda Cameron. She and others were called to a neighborhood meeting Sunday night after their neighbor was taken to the hospital.

Three people inside the home were also being monitored by DHHS, Davies said. They've been asked not to leave the house and to cooperate with regular checks from the county health department.

Person County Schools sent out reminders Monday morning to staff about protocol for dealing with infectious diseases.

One principal said he heard from parents who planned to keep their children home, but across the district, absences were not significant enough to indicate a widespread reaction.

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  • Fanny Chmelar Nov 4, 2014
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    Naw, this media-hyped fear has been going on for quite some time. With so many other killer communicable diseases going around this time of year, why aren't parents taking their kids out because of them?
    We need a little (lot) more investment in science education in our public schools.

  • Ben Hill Nov 4, 2014
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    Why are you so concerned with what other families are doing? If they choose to keep their kids home, it is a personal preference. There is a current public health risk, if people choose to be secluded until the risk diminishes, it is their choice. Whether I agree with their decision or not, it is their family and their choice. Who are you to criticize them?

  • Teresa Whitley Nov 4, 2014
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    If you really sit down and think about it, if Ebola was so terribly contagious the populations of the worst hit countries in Africa would be wiped out. Especially considering the poor health and sanitation history and the number of people that live in close confines.

    Since 1976 there have been 6353 deaths reported in the whole world due to Ebola. If you think that is sorely underestimated, 4 x 6353 is 25412. In 2010, in the USA, 53826 people died from flu and pneumonia.

    It is important to take precautions, but don panic and think the sky is falling.

  • ncmedic201 Nov 4, 2014

    Why are parents keeping their children home? That doesn't even make sense. And why call a neighborhood meeting. To shame the family?

  • Angie Cox Nov 4, 2014
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    Outside the home in Timberlake, Person County sheriff's deputies were keeping visitors and onlookers away.

    Why would someone want to be a onlooker? makes no sense. what are you expecting to see? crazy ppl.

  • Khaleel Murphy Nov 3, 2014
    user avatar

    And it begins

  • trianglerelic Nov 3, 2014

    I had no idea that so many NC residents travel to and from Liberia.