Despite telling hospital workers in Dallas he was in West Africa where the Ebola virus is spreading, the man who brought the disease to the United States was sent home after his first visit with doctors.
The decision by Texas Health Presbyterian has exposed an undetermined number of people to the deadly and usually fatal disease.
After the man returned and his diagnose was confirmed, officialdom began tracking anybody who had contact with him. It was initially determined a group of between a dozen and 18 people, ambulance workers and a number of school children, had contact with the patient.
However, on Thursday, Zach Thompson with Dallas County Health and Human Services told the media the man may have come in contact with more than 80 people.
Four or five of family members have been placed under a “control order” to remain inside their home.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the Associated Press tracking and monitoring those who may have come in contact with the Ebola patient will prevent the disease from spreading.
“That’s how we’re going to break the chain of transmission, and that’s where our focus has to be,” said Dr. Tom Frieden of the CDC said.
Despite reassurances by Texas officials and the CDC, it may prove virtually impossible to track and test everybody who came in contact with the patient.