WASHINGTON, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - Forty three people in Texas have been cleared from twice a day monitoring after coming in contact with the first person to test positive for Ebola in the US, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced Monday.
"Epidemiologists have worked around the clock to call and visit people who may have had any exposure, to make sure they were asymptotic and doing well," said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services. "I'm happy we can tell people they are free and clear of monitoring. It provides a measure of relief and reassurance," he added.
After being monitored for 21 days, the longest incubation period for the disease, the group of health care workers, household contacts and community members who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the US citizen who tested positive for Ebola on September 30, showed no symptoms of the deadly disease.
In Texas, there have been three confirmed cases of Ebola from the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital – Eric Duncan and two health care workers, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, who cared for Duncan before he died on October 8.
Currently 120 other people who came in contact with the health care workers are being monitored for symptoms of Ebola. Many of them were passengers on one of the two Frontier Airlines flights that Vinson was on a day before she tested positive for Ebola.
The US Defense Department announced on Sunday that they will send a 30-member military medical team to fight Ebola domestically.
Moreover, some 4,000 US troops are now being sent to West Africa to fight the virus.
The current Ebola outbreak started in Guinea in February, gradually spreading to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. A number of Ebola cases have also been registered outside of West Africa. There is no officially approved treatment for the disease at the moment, however, Russia, alongside the United Kingdom, the US, Japan and Canada, is currently working on the medicine.
According to the World Health Organization, there have been about 9,000 reported cases of Ebola, with almost 4,500 people having been killed.