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Dallas Ebola Patient Critically Ill

The condition of the first man diagnosed with the deadly Ebola virus in the United States has become critical, the hospital said on Saturday.

A spokeswoman for the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said Thomas Eric Duncan’s condition has deteriorated. It earlier said that Duncan, who traveled from Ebola-ravaged Liberia before he showed symptoms of the disease, was in serious but stable condition, the Associated Press reported. The hospital did not disclose further details about the patient’s health.

Health officials said Saturday that they are still observing the health of around 50 people who may have had contact with Duncan, nine of which are at higher risk of infection, including the family who hosted him and health workers, CNN reported. So far, none of them showed symptoms related to Ebola.

“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,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Frieden said that they have received more than 100 inquiries on suspicious Ebola cases in recent months, with an increase after the Duncan’s diagnoses. Health officials said tests were conducted on about 15 individuals and all, except for Duncan, resulted negative.

Duncan arrived in Dallas on September 20, and started feeling sick days later. He first went to Texas Health Presbyterian on September 25 but was only given antibiotics for flu and sent home. He went back three days later and tested positive to the deadly disease.

Ebola virus has so far killed more than 3,400 in West Africa and the numbers continue to rise as health workers, supplies and facilities remain scarce.

The U.S. has started deploying military forces and health workers to the region to help contain the virus.

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