Ebola scare in Frisco: Patient identified as deputy

Crews transported a patient exhibiting “signs and symptoms of Ebola” from a Frisco CareNow to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

“Right now, there are more questions than answers about this case,” said Wendell Watson, a spokesman with the hospital.

The patient was identified as Sgt. Michael Monnig, a deputy who accompanied county health officials Zachary Thompson and Christopher Perkins into the apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan stayed in Dallas.

The deputy was ordered to go inside the unit with officials to get a quarantine order signed. No one who went inside the unit that day wore protective gear.

According to Christopher Dyer, with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Association, Monnig said he was feeling sick to his stomach before his visit to the clinic. Dyer expressed concern for Monnig and his family.

Frisco Mayor Maher Maso said “risk is minimal” from the new potential Ebola case. Frisco Fire Chief Mark Piland said the patient was transported because he had “a few” symptoms that matched those in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, but not all of the symptoms.

It will take up to 48 hours to get test results back to determine if Monnig tests positive for the Ebola virus.

The CareNow is located in the 300 block of Main Street. Patients were held inside the clinic as crews at the scene examined staff and others inside the building, but they have since been released.

“The patient claims to have had contact with the Dallas ‘patient zero,'” according to a statement from Dana Baird-Hanks, a spokeswoman with the city of Frisco.

Health officials said the transportation of the patient was done out of an abundance of caution.

“We are being very cautious and are in contact with the health department to ensure we follow proper protocol,” said Vicki Johns, with CareNow. “Our concern is for the safety and well being of everyone in our clinic.”

News 8’s Jason Whitely spoke to Chuck Moreno, who had gone into the CareNow facility with his 15-year-old son to get a flu shot Wednesday. Moreno said he saw a patient, whose skin was flushed and who was hunched over but walking, enter the clinic with his wife.

Within minutes, police and fire units surrounded the facility, taped off a gray SUV, and isolated other patients at the facility.

Moreno asked a CareNow employee if it was related to Ebola, and he said the employee nodded her head “yes.”

Moreno said he and his son quarantined themselves into an examination room, put on surgical masks they found in the room and sprayed disinfectant on themselves. Moreno said staff told them he and his son couldn’t leave the clinic and would be transferred to a major medical center, but he was unsure which one at the time.

Outside the building, people in hazardous material suits readied an ambulance for transport of the patient.

(abc)

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