By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Oct. 20, 2014
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – The first wave of people who had contact with Texas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan are out of isolation and symptom-free.
The group reached the 21-day incubation period at midnight.
“Of the original 48 contacts, 43 of those contacts have effectively rolled off and are Ebola free,” said Judge Clay Jenkins, of Dallas County, Texas. “Forty-three are off and one will be later today, and the other four will be in the coming days.”
About 120 more people continue to be monitored for symptoms.
They include more than 70 health care workers who cared for Duncan while he was in the hospital.
Meantime, in an effort to protect frontline hospital workers from being infected with Ebola, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will require them to be completely covered up when treating patients for the virus and be monitored while wearing and removing protective garb.
The new guidelines for the treatment of Ebola is expected to be issued today.
But health authorities say the general public should not panic over their own safety.
“I don’t think the American people should worry about it,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIH director. “Do I put it off my radar screen and say, ‘that’s not something I worry about?’” Trust me; I worry about it all the time. But I should do the worrying, not the American people.”
Health officials are telling people it’s actually simple to protect themselves from germs.
According to the CDC, bacteria and viruses can live on open surfaces for two hours or even days, so they can be easily transferred to our palms and fingers.
According to the CDC, twenty seconds of scrubbing with soap and water can knock those germs out.
According to the World Health Organization, washing our hands correctly can save more lives than any vaccine.