Timberlake home off limits after Ebola scare
Posted November 3, 2014
Updated November 4, 2014
Timberlake, N.C. — 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.