DALLAS, Texas — A woman not listed on any Ebola watch list fell ill Saturday after getting off a Dallas Area Rapid Transportation (DART) train in Dallas. Initial reports indicated that she had been a resident at Ebola casualty Thomas Eric Duncan’s apartment complex, however later reports indicated otherwise.
In relation to the incident, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins addressed the media outside of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital following a WFAA report that hazardous material teams from the fire department had been dispatched to a DART station at 7333 East Northwest Highway “which serves the Blue Line trains along connecting bus routes.” According to the report, emergency personnel were wearing protective gear.
Jenkins, however, said, “She’s the sixth person who’s thrown up at a DART facility today, adding “That is just part of public transportation that I was unaware of, but that does happen.”
DART representative Morgan Lyons told Breitbart Texas, “The person being treated by Dallas Fire Rescue at White Rock Station is NOT on any Ebola watchlist. She is being treated by DFR as a person who is ill.”
Lyons continued, “Updated reports indicate she got off a northbound train at the station and vomited on the platform. There are no indications of any biohazards or spills on any vehicle she has used. We are inspecting the train and the platform and will clean the facility and vehicle as needed consistent with our protocol.”
“White Rock Station remains closed to bus and rail service, although trains are passing through the area to connect customers north and south of the station.”
Lyons said updates can be found online on Twitter @dartmedia or DART.org
In an update shortly thereafter, Lyons provided updated information. “We are now able to confirm the person being treated at White Rock Station is not a resident of the Ivy Apartments but had stayed there for a few days some time ago. We have also confirmed she did not vomit, she spit on the platform.”
“She will be taken to a local hospital for additional medical evaluation or treatment as needed,” he continued.
“Once she has been transported the station will be cleaned and put back in service. Although she did not vomit on either the platform or the vehicle, we are removing the railcar from service out of an abundance of caution and inspect it. We already had additional rail cars in service today to support customers attending the State Fair.”
“We will send a final update once White Rock Station has resumed service,” Lyons stated.
Jenkins indicated that that HAZMAT teams were on scene and that they were treating this seriously, declaring, “Right now, we’re in the middle of the hot zone.”
He said it was a critical weekend because of the proximity of time that has passed since the death of Ebola patient zero Thomas Eric Duncan in relationship to his family being on Ebola watch. If they continue to show no symptoms, they will reach 21-day mark and be released from Ebola watch on midnight, Sunday, October 19.
For now, he added, “we are right in the middle of the hot zone.”
Jenkins addressed contingency planning to route Ebola cases and/or waste materials away from Dallas to three hospital facilities. They were Emory in Bethesda, MD, the University of Texas at Galveston and an unnamed facility in Montana.
He also said, “We’re looking into ramping up our capabilities here.” He noted an announcement from Texas Health in Dallas was forthcoming with details.
On Friday, October 17, Breitbart Texas reported that DART employees self-reported possible exposure to the deadly Ebola virus and were each sent home in an exercise of caution.