According to Texas officials, as many as 100 people are being examined for potential exposure to the Ebola virus that has made its way to Dallas.
This list is intentionally rather broad. According to Carrie Williams, a spokesman for the Department of State Health Services, the government is casting “a very wide net” of potential infected individuals, including people “who have had even brief encounters with the patient or the patient’s home”. She later said that “the number will drop as we focus in on those whose contact may represent a potential risk of infection.”
The Ebola scare began when a man named Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian courier visiting the United States, was admitted with the country’s first confirmed case of Ebola on Sunday. It is currently unknown how or when he caught the virus, as he was screened for Ebola before getting on the plane in Liberia (as per standard procedure), and showed no signs of infection. It is believed he initially caught Ebola while helping transport a pregnant woman stricken with the virus, just before his flight. Duncan is currently admitted to a Dallas hospital in serious condition. Four of his family members are included in the list of potential victims of infection; they are currently under watch for symptoms at their home.