Ebola In Dallas: Scenes, Sounds and Stories
On Sept. 30, 2014, the United States had its first diagnosis of the Ebola virus. Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national, tested positive days after he was initially sent home from a Dallas emergency room. He died Oct. 8. Two nurses who treated him contracted Ebola; they survived. North Texas was on edge.
The news put Dallas in the national spotlight for weeks. Here’s a roundup of KERA coverage, including live blogs, online stories, radio reports and videos.
Sept. 30: Dallas Patient Tests Positive
The patient, a man, left Liberia on Sept. 19 and arrived in the United States to visit family in Texas on Sept. 20, CDC officials said at a press conference. He showed no symptoms when leaving Liberia or when he arrived in the U.S.
On Sept. 24, he started showing symptoms. He sought care and was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. The hospital announced Sept. 29 that the patient was being tested for Ebola. A blood sample arrived at a state of Texas lab. A sample also arrived at the CDC.
The patient is “critically ill,” CDC officials say.
Read the full KERA News report here.
- Oct. 1: Dallas Patient Told Hospital During First Visit He Was Visiting From Liberia
- Oct. 1: In Refugee-Rich Vickery Meadow Neighborhood, Residents React To Ebola
- Oct. 1: Five Children Are Being Monitored After Coming Into Contact With Patient
- Oct. 1: Dallas ISD Parents Are Cautious, But Confident Their Kids Are Safe
- Oct. 2: Three Richardson ISD Kids Pulled From School, Had Contact With Ebola Patient
- Oct. 2: Leading Epidemiologist Expects More Ebola Cases In North Texas
Oct. 2: Ebola In The ER: What Happens To Business As Usual?
Hospitals compete for patients, and emergency departments play a big role in business. So what happens to business when a hospital takes on a patient with Ebola? One recent afternoon, there was no wait time at Texas Health Presbyterian’s emergency room in Dallas.
Read Lauren Silverman’s full report here.
- Oct. 2: Ebola Patient’s Relatives Ordered To Stay In Their Apartment
- Oct. 3: Relatives Move Out Of Ebola Apartment Where Ebola Patient Visited
- Oct. 3: Dallas District Attorney Considering Charges Against Ebola Patient
- Oct. 3: At Dallas Apartment Where Ebola Patient Visited, Council Member Works To Ease Fears
Oct. 4: Dallas Ebola Patient In Critical Condition
Health officials were monitoring about 50 people for signs of Ebola who may have had contact with Duncan, including nine who were believed to be at a higher risk. So far, none were showing symptoms.
A hazardous-materials crew decontaminated the Vickery Meadow apartment where Duncan was staying when he got sick during his visit. The materials were sealed in industrial barrels that were to be stored in trucks until they could be hauled away for disposal.
The family who lived there was moved to a private home in a gated community, where they are being carefully monitored. The city had been having trouble finding a place that would take in Duncan’s fiancée, Louise Troh, originally from Liberia, her 13-year-old son and two nephews.
Read Eric Aasen’s full report here.
- Oct. 13: Second Patient Who Tested Positive For Ebola Is A 26-Year-Old Nurse
- Oct. 13: About 70 Presbyterian Hospital Workers Cared For Dallas Ebola Patient
- Oct. 13: East Dallas Neighborhood Where Second Ebola Patient Lives Remains Calm
- Oct. 13: Bentley, Ebola Nurse’s Dog, Is Safe With Dallas Animal Services
Oct. 15: CDC Gives Update On Ebola Patients
- Oct. 15: Texas Nurses Have Concerns And Confidence About Ebola
- Oct. 15: Parkland Hospital’s Ebola Plan: ‘Ready To Go’
- Oct. 16: Ebola Sucks The Oxygen Out Of Election Coverage
- Oct. 16: Jenkins: Ebola Nurses Were Moved So Presbyterian Can Be Ready
- Oct. 16: Nina Pham On Her Way To Love Field To Be Treated At NIH Maryland
Oct. 17: People Are Freaking Out: Ebola Fear Keeps Patients Away From Dallas Hospitals, Clinics
Clients that do visit are asking if Ebola is airborne. One parent told him her daughter’s teacher has a low-grade fever, and is in quarantine, so the mother brought the daughter to be checked for Ebola.
“People don’t believe anybody,” he said. “People want to stay away from anybody that lives in the neighborhood. They’re just afraid of the unknown.”
A surgeon with a private practice at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where the Ebola patients have been treated, says patients weren’t making appointments.
“The whole hospital is really like a ghost town,” Dr. Alexandra Dresel said. “The cafeteria is empty. The parking lots are empty. The operating room, which is normally full of cases, has a much smaller load.”
Read Doualy Xaykaothao’s full report here.
Oct. 21: Nina Pham, Dallas Nurse, In Good Condition
The condition of Nina Pham, the first Dallas nurse infected with Ebola, was upgraded to good from fair, the National Institutes of Health announced.
“The NIH has received countless inquiries and expressions of support” for Pham, the NIH said in a statement. “The NIH Clinical Center staff has shared the general sentiments with her and Ms. Pham has expressed her gratitude for everyone’s concerns and well wishes.”
Pham was transferred to NIH in Maryland from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
Read Krystina Martinez’s full report here.
- Dec. 30: ‘Eric Can Live Forever In My Mind’: Family Honors Dallas Ebola Victim On His Birthday
- March 3, 2015: Attorney Says Pham Seeks Transparency In Lawsuit Against Hospital
- April 6, 2015: Texas Health Resources Says Nina Pham’s Lawsuit Should Be Dismissed
- May 4, 2015: A Scholarship Fund Is Established To Remember Thomas Eric Duncan
Selected photos courtesy of The Dallas Morning News.