CDC Lets Quarantined Woman Who Cared for Texas Ebola Victim Shop, Receive Visitors
The first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., Thomas Eric Duncan, was staying at Ivy Apartments before he was admitted to the hospital. Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson and Medical Director Christopher Perkins walk out of a unit at the complex. (Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press)
A woman who cared for the Texas Ebola victim at her mother’s Dallas area apartment has been allowed by the CDC to go shopping and receive visitors, according to a report by the Washington Post.
The 35-year-old woman, Youngor Jallah, told the Post she called an ambulance for Liberian national Thomas Duncan after his temperature spiked and she saw his eyes look like those of Ebola victims she has seen on TV.
While the Post reports Jallah and her family are being quarantined, the rules are apparently quite lax.
The Post interviewed Jallah face to face in her apartment. She says she was allowed by authorities to go grocery shopping Wednesday when they first placed her and her family under quarantine.
““I’ve been seeing Ebola on TV, how it starts, with muscle pain, red eyes. When I see his eye, it is all red, and I think maybe this time it is Ebola virus and I should be careful,” Jallah, 35, said in an interview with The Washington Post at her nearby apartment, where she and her family have been quarantined.
“She took his temperature — 102 degrees.
““I’m going to call an ambulance,” she said.”
“Three days later, on Wednesday evening, Jallah and Yah were visited in their second-floor apartment by health officials from the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The officials took everyone’s temperature and told them that they should not leave the apartment.
““We don’t have any food,” Jallah said. “What do we do?”
““She was told that she and (her partner Aaron) Yah, but not the kids, could go to the store. The two health officials also said they would return every day to see how the family was doing.”
Jallah told the Post she was in close bodily contact with Duncan when he was displaying Ebola symptoms. She says she bought him a blanket to keep warm in the apartment and took that blanket with her to the emergency room when he was taken there by ambulance.
“So Jallah took a quick trip to Wal-Mart and bought a $50 brown cotton blanket. When she returned, she draped it over Duncan’s shoulders and then gently lifted him by his back to try to get him to drink some hot tea. That’s when she looked into his eyes and knew in her heart that things were very bad.”
The Post reports a total of thirteen people spent time at the apartment when Duncan was showing signs of Ebola. All but three are mentioned as being quarantined: Yah, Jallah and her four children who had spent the night at the apartment; Duncan’s girlfriend Louise Troh, her teenaged son and two young men staying at the apartment. Not mentioned as quarantined are Jallah’s father and two cousins whom she took to the apartment and then the hospital last Sunday. They were all in close quarters with the Ebola victim’s blanket according to the Post.
“Jallah didn’t wait to watch the ambulance leave. All she had on her mind was getting to the hospital as quickly as she could, she said. She headed to her red Toyota minivan with the blanket in her arms, joined now by two cousins she had picked up earlier on her way to the Ivy Apartments and her father, Joe Joe Jallah.”
There is no mention in the article if steps are being taken to monitor or quarantine those other family members.