RICHARDSON (CBSDFW.COM) – North Texas is another step closer to being free of the Ebola virus. Since the first case was diagnosed, health officials have been monitoring a group of individuals who came into contact with the three Dallas area patients — Thomas Duncan, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson.
Another nine people fell off of that contact list on Tuesday, meaning that 60 people who could have contracted the virus have shown no symptoms of Ebola over the last three weeks. They are no longer at any risk of developing the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still monitoring 112 other individuals.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday afternoon, a new approach to tackling the Ebola threat in North Texas was unveiled. Gov. Rick Perry announced his plans for a fully equipped and trained containment facility. If another patient is ever diagnosed with the Ebola virus in North Texas, they will be taken to this facility for treatment.
Perry said that North Texas Ebola Treatment and Infectious Disease Bio Containment Facility opens on Wednesday in Richardson.
The center will be staffed by doctors and nurses from Parkland Hospital in Dallas and UT Southwestern Medical Center, who will work together as a pathogen strike team. Once a patient is diagnosed, they will need six hours to prepare for treatment. “This allows us to react quickly to limit this virus’ reach, and gives the patients the care they need in an environment where health care workers are specifically trained,” Perry said.
Residents who live near the Campbell Road campus have some understandable concerns. “I can’t say that there isn’t some, but I think, for the most part, I think we’ve been through again some of the trials, and I think we’re a lot better prepared for it than we were a month ago,” said Dan Hahn.
A similar facility will be set up in Galveston.
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