DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The last person being monitored in connection with Texas’ three Ebola patients is set to be cleared from twice-daily monitoring.
The Texas Department of State Health Services says a hospital worker who handled medical waste will be cleared by the end of the day Friday.
A Liberian man became the first person in the U.S. diagnosed with Ebola after traveling to Dallas. He died Oct. 8. Two nurses who treated him became infected, later recovering.
There were 177 people — including health care workers, household contacts and community members — being monitored after having contact with one of the three patients, specimens or medical waste.
The state also recently cleared from monitoring more than 160 people who were passengers on one of the flights taken by one of the nurses.
Former President George W. Bush stopped by Texas Presbyterian to celebrate. Pictures from the celebration show Mr. Bush with his arm around Amber Vinson, one of the nurses who became infected.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said he was looking forward to the city being “Ebola-free” and said he was proud that the City of Dallas was able to contain the virus.
“I’m relieved and thankful,” said Rawlings in a written statement. “It’s been a challenge, and there have been moments of frustration throughout this difficult process. But the City’s plan and its steadfast commitment to early detection and proper monitoring played a key role in stopping the spread of the virus. The public’s safety continues to be of utmost importance. I’m proud of the citizens of Dallas for learning the facts about Ebola and staying calm. And I’m especially thankful to all the brave healthcare workers who put their lives on the line to help others, including Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, who are true heroes in this city and around the world,” the Mayor said.
The following statement was also issued to all Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the hospital where all three of Dallas’ Ebola patients were treated and where two nurses contracted the virus:
“Today, the monitoring period for those who participated in the care of our patients with Ebola Virus Disease ends. All of our caregivers and other employees related to the events of the last six weeks, along with their friends and loved ones in the community, are formally cleared of risk.
We are grateful that two caregivers who shared the fight against this insidious virus are healthy. These two courageous nurses, and so many others, put the needs of a patient first and valiantly worked to save the life of a man who faced, and ultimately lost, his battle with this disease. Today we remember and honor him, and his family remains in our hearts and prayers.
We emerge from this experience both humbled and empowered with a new strength of purpose. We are committed to using what we have learned to advance our mission and vision in the communities we are privileged to serve. We will continue to share our learnings with the healthcare community nationwide, and we hope our experience will also help those in the global community who are working so hard to beat this terrible disease in West Africa.
Finally, we are thankful for our community, whose support continues to fortify us as it has for nearly 50 years. The confidence placed in us even as we face challenges is heartening, and we pledge to reaffirm that trust as we move forward.”
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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