Doctors treating the first US Ebola patient at a hospital in Dallas have announced that his condition has deteriorated from serious to critical.
Thomas Eric Duncan caught the deadly virus on a visit to his native Liberia two weeks ago. A specialist team has been cleaning the apartment where he stayed in Dallas. The four people who were voluntarily quarantined inside the apartment have been moved to another location.
Health officials say they are monitoring 50 people who may have had contact with Mr Duncan, nine of whom are deemed to be at a higher risk.
“We are confident that none of those with definite contact have any symptoms related to Ebola, none of them had fever. We’ll be watching that very closely, particularly for those nine individuals in the coming days,” announced Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The incubation period for Ebola is between two and 21 days and can be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids from an infected person. Mr Duncan was admitted to hospital on September 25 but was later sent home before being readmitted and diagnosed with the virus.
American airports are now on high alert for signs of Ebola from incoming passengers. Authorities escorted a man off a plane at Newark after reports of vomiting, a possible sign of the virus.
“Yeah, I saw them walking him out. He clearly looked ill,” remarked one passenger.
Health officials assessed he was not at risk of Ebola, but the Belgian national was taken to a nearby hospital where he remains under observation.
So far Ebola has claimed more than 3,400 lives in West Africa.