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Ebola Focus Shrinks to About 50 People in Texas

All had varying degrees of contact with Liberian national being treated at Dallas hospital

FRIDAY, Oct. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- About 50 people in Texas are now being checked daily for possible Ebola infection, based on their prior contact with the Liberian national undergoing treatment in Dallas for the virus, health officials said Friday.

None of the 50 currently has a fever or any other symptoms of Ebola, and most have a low risk of infection, David Lakey, M.D., commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said at a midday news briefing. About 10 of the 50 people are considered at elevated risk for Ebola based on their contact with the Liberian national, Thomas Eric Duncan, who is being treated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Lakey said.

All of the people being monitored will receive twice-daily temperature checks, Beth Bell, M.D., director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, said at the news briefing. "There certainly is a possibility that some of the people who have been in very close contact with this patient might develop Ebola, and that's why this close monitoring is so important," Bell said.

The number of people under scrutiny has been pared down from an initial group of about 100, based on interviews that determined the amount of contact each person likely had with Duncan after he began showing symptoms of Ebola, Bell said.

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