Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said on Wednesday that "our system is working as it should," in identifying and treating any individuals who have come in contact with a patient admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas who is being treated for the Ebola virus.
"This is all hands on deck," Perry said. "We understand that and we've got great local partners. Everyone has their marching orders and understands the importance of that good collaboration."
Perry also addressed reports that the patient had come in contact with several school-age children since returning to the United States — he said those five children, along with their families, have been identified and are being monitored for any signs of the disease. Earlier on Wednesday, an individual who had close contact with the diagnosed patient was identified as a possible second Ebola case, but officials were quick to note that the disease is not airborne — it spreads only through close contact with body fluids.
"[Ebola] is substantially more difficult to contract than the common cold," Perry said. And, "we have healthcare professionals and institutions second to none...They will succeed in this very important mission."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed on Tuesday that a Dallas hospital was treating the first case of Ebola in the United States. The patient traveled back to the United States by plane from Liberia on Sept. 19, and he was admitted to the hospital for treatment on Sunday, Sept. 28.