The Texas Ebola patient was released from the hospital two days before he was ultimately placed in isolation—despite the fact that he told his nurse he had been traveling in Liberia, officials said Wednesday.
According to reports, Ebola patient Thomas Duncan first traveled to the US on Sept. 20 connecting United flight from Brussels to Dulles International Airport in Virginia and from there on to Dallas-Fort Worth. Authorities say he was not symptomatic at that time and, as such, posed no health danger to other passengers.
Duncan first checked in to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Friday complaining of fever and abdominal pain. According to the Washington Post, he told a nurse he had flown from Liberia to Texas, but "this detail was not shared with everyone treating him."
The Centers for Disease Control issued national guidelines for diagnosing Ebola in August—and fever, body pains, and travel in West Africa are red flags—but the Dallas doctors diagnosed him with a "low-grade, common viral disease" and released him.
Over the next two days, Duncan came into contact with around 15 people— five schoolchildren, several relatives, and the medical technicians who treated him on Sunday, when his condition "significantly deteriorated." Duncan is currently in the hospital in stable condition, and the people he's suspected of coming into contact with are being monitored in their homes by health officials.
Duncan may have become infected Sept. 15 when he helped carry his landlord's sick daughter to a hospital in Liberia. The New York Times has put together a comprehensive timeline of the viral spread since—the daughter reportedly infected at least seven people, at least four of whom have since died.
[image via AP]