Last Person Completes Ebola Monitoring in Texas

All 177 people who were monitored for Ebola in Texas are out of the woods.

ByABC News
November 7, 2014, 6:08 AM

— -- The final person in Texas being monitored for Ebola has passed the virus's 21-day incubation period, marking the end of the state's Ebola crisis.

None of the 177 people who had contact with the state's Ebola patients -- Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, and two of the Dallas nurses who cared for him, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson -- have contracted Ebola, state officials said. The list included health care workers, people who shared the same households as the Ebola patients and other community contacts.

"Hopefully, Americans will be relieved and fear will be eased," said Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News chief health and medical editor. "In Dallas, not even the people who lived with a very sick person with Ebola became ill."

Besser said he wasn't surprised by this, considering that Ebola is not especially contagious. It is only spread via contact with bodily fluids such as blood and vomit, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The final person to come off the monitoring list was a hospital worker who handled medical waste for one of the three Ebola patients, according to state health officials. Everyone on the list underwent twice daily monitoring of temperature for 21 days -- the longest accepted incubation period for the virus.

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

Ebola cases will continue to arrive in the United States, but they will be rare and they will be contained, Besser said.

"Our best guarantee of protection here is in doing all we can to help eliminate Ebola from West Africa," he said.