HOUSTON, Texas — A homeless man who rode in the ambulance directly after Thomas Eric Duncan, the Dallas Ebola patient, was found by police. Although the man will be taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital to be monitored, it is unknown if he came in contact with others while on the loose.
The homeless man was the first person to ride in the ambulance after Duncan, according to KVUE.
According to the outlet, the man is not showing signs of Ebola at this time. Still, that may not come as a relief to many, given that Ebola symptoms may not show for up to 21 days after the virus infects an individual.
During a medical outbreak, a city’s homeless individuals, who often live in group homes, are typically considered at high-risk of contracting and spreading various viruses. Breitbart Texas spokes with numerous large homeless shelters in Dallas, and none of them have a plan in place should Ebola begin to spread through their residences.
A spokesperson from Dallas’ Austin Street Center, a large homeless shelter in Dallas, told Breitbart Texas that homeless shelters would be in “big trouble” if an Ebola outbreak occurred. “That would not be good, at all,” he continued, adding that his shelter has no quarantine quarters.
Echoing that sentiment, a spokesperson from Restoring Hope Dallas, a ministry that gives housing to the homeless, told Breitbart Texas, “”We don’t have an Ebola plan.
When residents come to Restoring Hope Dallas, they have access to basic healthcare. The organization would determine if an individual has Ebola by “seeing what health the person is in when they come in,” according to the spokesman. Unfortunately, however, this method would not properly flag an individual who has the virus but is not yet showing symptoms.
It is not clear where the homeless man, who rode in the Ebola patient’s ambulance, was staying prior to being transported to the hospital.
He was first discovered by officials on Saturday, but then fled after being asked to stay put in his current location. KVUE reported that “officials did not explain” how the man was able to leave his location. While the search for the homeless man was taking place, County Judge Clay Jenkins reportedly stated, “We are working to locate the individual and get him to a comfortable, compassionate place where we can monitor him and care for his every need for the full incubation period. I want to emphasize that he is a very low risk individual and are doing this out of precautionary measures.”
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