DALLAS — A homeless man being sought because of possible contact with the lone U.S. Ebola patient was found Sunday in Texas after several hours of searching, authorities said.
The person is not considered to be one of the 10 people who definitely had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, who is in critical condition at a Dallas hospital. However, he is part of a larger group of 38 people who may have been around Duncan when he was showing symptoms of the disease after traveling to the U.S. from his native Liberia, officials said.
He was found a few hours after officials on Sunday morning announced he was missing, Dallas city spokeswoman Sana Syed said.
Duncan was listed in critical condition Sunday at a Dallas hospital.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins called the man, whom he didn’t identify, a “low-risk individual.” Authorities had monitored him a day earlier but want to take his temperature regularly to make sure he doesn’t have a fever, a possible symptom of Ebola infection.
Jenkins said the man would receive a mental health evaluation at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital. The man will eventually be placed in housing that will allow health workers direct access to him daily. Syed said it was unlikely that the man would be placed in a homeless shelter.
The group of 10 people is composed of seven health care workers and three family members or community contacts, said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About 800 calls and emails are coming in daily to the CDC on Ebola, up from about 50 to 100 before Duncan was diagnosed on Tuesday, Frieden said. Frieden said he is scheduled to brief President Barack Obama on Monday.
Duncan has been hospitalized at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital for a week and was listed Sunday in critical condition. Frieden said Sunday that he was aware that Duncan’s health had “taken a turn for the worse,” but he declined to say what signs of poor health Duncan had shown.
Four members of a family who hosted Duncan in their northeast Dallas apartment are under isolation, though they have not shown symptoms of infection.
NOMAAN MERCHANT, Associated Press
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