Retracing U.S. Ebola Patient's Steps: How Many People Could Have Been Exposed?

Retracing U.S. Ebola Patient's Steps: How Many People Could Have Been Exposed?

Ebola patient Thomas Duncan’s journey to the U.S. put him in contact with hundreds of other airline passengers.

Here's what INSIDE EDITION knows about the flights:

September 19th: Duncan flew overnight from Liberia to Belgium on Brussels Airlines Flight 1247.    

September 20th: After a seven-hour layover he flew to Dulles Airport in Washington on United Airlines Flight 951. Four hours later, he boarded United Flight 822, flying to Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.
Duncan's temperature was taken at the airport in Liberia, but that was the only time he was screened.

"Nobody's taking any chances any more," said NBC's Nancy Snyderman who demonstrated how infrared temperature gauges are used to take temperatures. It is done without coming in contact with the body.

The CDC said there is "zero risk of transmission" of the disease to other airline passengers.

CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg said there are precautions passengers can take. He said, “Bring antiseptic wipes with you and wipe down the tray tables. Wipe down the arm rests. Anything that your skin can come in contact with.”  

ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser is in Liberia. He told INSIDE EDITION, “It would be horrible if anyone who was truly sick and contagious got on a plane and spread that to people around them on the plane or  ruined a bathroom so that it would become a contaminated area. The issue here is not that he was sick and they missed it. The issue is that he was brewing the infection and was not yet contagious.”   

Hear More From Dr. Besser

Duncan remains in serious condition in a Dallas hospital.

CNN's Anderson Cooper spoke to the Dallas woman who is the mother of Duncan's son. He said, “The CDC has visited her apartment, she tells me, and told her not to go outside. She is quarantined. She has to stay inside for 21 days. She is taking her temperature every hour. She says she is  taking the temperatures of everyone in the apartment with her. She's clearly very concerned. She has very strong faith, she's praying a lot."

Four Dallas elementary and middle schools were cleaned by teams in hazmat gear. Some children there have come in contact with Duncan. But some parents have taken their kids out of school until the Ebola crisis passes.

Liberian officials say Duncan will be prosecuted for lying on his exit form about contact with an infected person. Meantime his family members in Texas are under orders to stay in the home or face criminal charges.

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