Texas Ebola fears recede

No additional Ebola cases have been diagnosed in Texas in connection with a small outbreak earlier this fall, state health officials announced Thursday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services touted the good news as the last person being monitored approached the end of the Ebola virus's 21-day incubation period.

ADVERTISEMENT
That person was not identified by name, but the health department said he or she was a hospital worker who handled potentially hazardous medical waste on Oct. 17.

"We’re happy to reach this milestone, but our guard stays up," said Texas Health Commissioner Dr. David Lakey. "We reached this point through teamwork and meticulous monitoring, and we’ll continue to be vigilant to protect Texas from Ebola."

A total of 177 people were monitored due to contact with one of the state's three Ebola patients: Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died of the disease; and nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, who treated Duncan and have recovered.

Texas received heavy criticism for its handling of the cases, prompting officials to transfer Pham and Vinson to receive care elsewhere. The two were hospitalized at the National Institutes of Health and Emory University Hospital, respectively.

There have been no new Ebola cases confirmed in the United States since New York City doctor Craig Spencer was diagnosed with the virus on Oct. 23.

He is receiving care at Manhattan's Bellevue Medical Center. A total of 357 people are being "actively monitored" for Ebola symptoms in New York City, health officials said Wednesday.