Authorities have found a homeless man they were seeking who may have been exposed to Ebola in Dallas. The man rode in the ambulance that carried the Liberian man with Ebola to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Though Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins say that the man is a “low-risk individual,” officials have been searching for him in order to monitor him.
At a national press conference earlier on Sunday, word went out that the homeless man was being sought. As reported earlier by The Inquisitr, Jenkins said that authorities were “working to locate the individual and get him to a comfortable, compassionate place where we can monitor him and care for his every need for the full incubation period.” They stressed that the man, identified by KTVT reporter J.D. Miles as Michael Lively on Twitter, was not guilty of any crime, and asked that he come forward so that he could be monitored.
— J.D. Miles (@jdmiles11) October 5, 2014
He was a part of a group of 38 people who were tested last Saturday for the Ebola virus, reports the International Business Times. At that time, he came up negative, but the CDC reports that was the last anyone had seen him, until he was located on Sunday afternoon after the press conference.
Lively is said to be a panhandler who works the area near Highway 75 and Walnut Hill. Authorities located him in the White Rock Lake area, near 75 and Northpark, according to Miles.
He has been taken to an undisclosed location for monitoring during the incubation period, which is from 2 to 21 days.
The ambulance that Lively rode in has been taken out of commission and is in quarantine as well. However, EMS officials assure the Dallas News that it is standard operating procedure for the ambulances to be decontaminated after each call they make.
Rescue personnel practice universal precautions on each call, and have for decades. They never know what kind of diseases they may be exposed to, and they don’t want to bring things home to their own families. Gloves and disinfectant are standard procedure, because these workers are exposed to many more common illnesses than Ebola on a regular basis, such as hepatitis, the flu, and HIV. While Ebola is certainly more deadly, the precautions taken each day serve well to protect them. Since Ebola has come to the United States, personnel are more diligent than ever to follow universal precautions.
The three paramedics who transported the first Ebola victim reportedly questioned Thomas Eric Duncan, and were aware that he possibly had Ebola. They have each tested negative for Ebola, but are staying home for the 21 day incubation period.
The CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden told NBC News that tracking people who are exposed to Ebola is key to stopping its spread.
“That is how we stopped every outbreak in the world with Ebola.” He also stated that there is no more of the drug that the CDC believes is the most effective against Ebola. “The most promising drug, ZMapp — there’s no more of it, and it’s hard to make, it takes months to make just a bit.”
They are looking to other drug and vaccine related avenues to treat Ebola.
There is no word yet on any people who may have been exposed to the homeless gentleman. Authorities stress that, though they are monitoring him, they do not believe he is at high risk for developing Ebola.
[image via LM Otero/Star Tribune]