A Dallas hospital lab worker who spent her cruise in isolation after potential exposure to Ebola has tested negative for the virus. Dozens of people in Texas who are being monitored are expected to be cleared by Monday.
The Carnival Magic cruise ship docked in Galveston, Texas today after a week-long cruise. Because of the suspected Ebola on board, the ship was denied docking in Mexico and Belize, Reuters reported.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Kurt Koopman” author_title=”Galveston County Health Authority spokesman”]
We are able to confirm that the (Ebola) test was negative.
The woman passed a blood test and was allowed to leave the ship with other passengers, USA Today reported. When the cruise ship left Galveston on October 12, the woman had only ben required to self-monitor for symptoms. No restrictions were placed on passengers, although the woman was voluntarily isolated on the ship.
On Saturday, a Coast Guard helicopter flew to the ship to receive samples from the woman for testing.
The ship was delayed in Belize for several hours when it was denied docking. The Cozumel, Mexico stop, which is a highlight of the cruise, was canceled. Carnival gave passengers credit for the missed portion of the trip, the Star Tribune reported.
The lab worker was employed at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital where Thomas Eric Duncan was treated for Ebola. The unnamed worker did not have contact with Duncan but was suspected to have come in contact with Duncan’s test samples. Two nurses who treated Duncan have contracted Ebola.
Three cases of Ebola have now been diagnosed in the United States, while dozens are still under observation after being exposed to these three.
According to Texas state authorities, 14 people have been cleared from the watch list. Those who are expected to be cleared on Monday include Duncan’s fiancee, her 13-year-old son, and two people in mandatory quarantine.