The first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. went to the emergency room last week, but was released — despite telling medical professionals he had just returned from a trip to Liberia.
"A travel history was taken, but it wasn't communicated to the people who were making the decision. ... It was a mistake. They dropped the ball," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
"You don't want to pile on them, but hopefully this will never happen again. ... The CDC has been vigorously emphasizing the need for a travel history," he added during an appearance on “The Lead.”
In a statement Wednesday, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said the patient did not display symptoms that would suggest he needed to be admitted, but acknowledged his travel history wasn’t “fully communicated” to doctors.
"At that time, the patient presented with low-grade fever and abdominal pain. His condition did not warrant admission. He also was not exhibiting symptoms specific to Ebola," the hospital said.
The city of Dallas Office of Emergency Management, at city hall is in operation, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, in Dallas. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has activated a city emergency management center after a patient was confirmed with the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
After being released with antibiotics, the patient returned three days later. Only then was it suspected he was infected with the Ebola virus.
"The hospital followed all suggested CDC protocols at that time. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas' staff is thoroughly trained in infection control procedures and protocols," the hospital said Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the CDC stressed that they are confident they can stop the spread of Ebola in the U.S.
“There is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here,” Tom Frieden, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, said.
World Health Organization, WHO, members discuss in the Strategic Health Operations Center, SHOC, room at the headquarters of the WHO in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini)
Health officials are now working on tracking down those who came into contact with the patent.
During a news conference Wednesday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said “some school-age children have been identified as having some contact” with the individual.
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