More Kids Absent From Schools After Ebola Diagnosis in Dallas

Attendance rate down 10% at affected schools, Dallas superintendent says.

ByABC News
October 2, 2014, 4:55 PM

— -- Attendance rates dropped at Dallas schools today after officials announced some students could have been exposed to Ebola after possibly coming in contact with a man who was the first to be diagnosed the deadly disease within the Unites States.

About 86 percent of students showed up to class today at the affected Dallas schools, and the attendance rate is usually about 10 percent higher, Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles said at a news conference today.

Five students at four different area schools were potentially exposed to Ebola and were sent home to be monitored for 21 days, the incubation period for the Ebola virus. The children pose no risk to others, however, because they are not showing symptoms, thereby unable to transmit the disease even if they are infected, health officials said.

Nervous parents still said on Wednesday they planned to keep their kids at home today.

"Kids pretty much touch everything. Not everyone washes their hands," parent Marcie Pardo told the Associated Press. "It's the contagious part that gets me worried."

Pardo's 8-year-old daughter and her niece left early from L.L. Hotchkiss Elementary, one of the schools affected.

Maria Vargas also picked her daughter up from that school on Wednesday, telling ABC affiliate WFAA, "I'm very worried."

Custodial staff was sent to clean the four schools plus another school nearby, district officials said, adding that extra nurses were also on hand.