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US Ebola patient in critical condition

Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States, is now in critical condition, a Texas Health _78001694_90c5150b-82fc-43cc-bbc5-40a15a86268cPresbyterian Hospital spokeswoman said today.

The Liberian man had previously been listed as being in serious condition. Hospital spokeswoman Candace White offered no new details other than his condition.

Earlier, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Duncan was in intensive care.

About 10 people are at “higher risk” of catching Ebola after coming into contact with Duncan but have shown no symptoms, health officials said Saturday.

The group is among 50 people being monitored daily, but the other 40 are considered “low risk,” said Dr. David Lakey, the commissioner of Texas department of state health services.

The nine people who had definite contact with the Ebola patient — including family members and health care professionals — have been monitored and show no symptoms or fevers, Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Saturday.

“We have already gotten well over 100 inquiries of possible patients,” Frieden told reporters. “We’ve assessed every one of those … and just this one patient has tested positive … We expect that we will see more rumors or concerns or possibilities of cases, until there is a positive laboratory test, that is what they are.”

Health officials did not provide details on the location of those being monitored or where they interacted with Duncan.

Monitoring includes a visit from a public health expert and temperature checks twice a day. None of them has had symptoms of Ebola so far, according to Lakey.

The latest figure is a drastic reduction of a number that started at 100 after initial talks with Duncan and hospital officials.

Duncan landed in Dallas on September 20, and started feeling sick days later. He made his initial visit to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on September 25.

He was released with antibiotics but went back three days later and was quickly isolated. A blood test Tuesday confirmed he had Ebola, the first case of the deadly virus diagnosed on American soil. (CNN)

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