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Are People Steering Clear of the Dallas Hospital That Cared for Ebola Patients?

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 18: The exterior of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital as ambulances continue to be diverted from its emergency room 'because of limitations in staffed capacity,' according to the hospital October 18, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. The diversion was put into place October 12 after one of the hospital's nurses who was part of a team of healthcare workers that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian who was the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, also contracted the virus. A second nurse also contracted Ebola while treating Duncan at the hospital. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Despite both nurses who contracted Ebola after caring for the first U.S. diagnosed patient seeming to improve and no new cases yet, people seem to be avoiding the hospital in Dallas where Thomas Eric Duncan was diagnosed and died last month.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said patient roles have plummeted and its revenue fell 25 percent in the first 20 days of October. The hospital said emergency room visits have fallen more than 50 percent, and its daily patient census fell 20 percent.

The exterior of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital as ambulances continue to be diverted from its emergency room 'because of limitations in staffed capacity,' according to the hospital October 18, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. More recently, the hospital reported seeing fewer patients and reduced revenue after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Presbyterian Hospital has been criticized for its initial care of Duncan, who was released after coming to the emergency room Sept. 25 with a fever and other Ebola symptoms. He returned three days later by ambulance and was diagnosed with the disease.

The two nurses infected after caring for Duncan, despite taking safety precautions, were transferred to other hospitals for further care last week.

Here's a look at what else is going on with the Ebola situation within the U.S. and overseas as of Thursday:

  • One dog survives, another is mourned: The Spanish nurse recently was declared free of Ebola is now wondering why her dog, Exalibur, was killed while she was in isolation at the hospital. In an interview published Thursday by the Spanish newspaper El Pais, Javier Limon, Teresa Romero's husband, said he finally told her their mixed breed dog was euthanized two days after her Oct. 6 hospitalization. He said "she is asking herself why they killed the dog, who wasn't to blame for anything." At the time, officials determined that the dog could be a risk for transmitting the virus. In contrast, the dog owned by Dallas nurse Nina Pham is currently testing negative for Ebola and doing well.

While many cards supported the Spanish nurse while she was in isolation, some mourned her dog who was killed as well. (Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

  • Food fight: Dozens of people quarantined in Liberia are threatening to break out of isolation for lack of food. The Liberia Broadcasting System said the 43 people were put in quarantine after four people died of Ebola in an impoverished corner of Grand Cape Mount County, near the Sierra Leone border. It said the U.N. World Food Program apparently stopped providing food to people affected by Ebola in the area.

  • Connecticut monitoring: Nine people in Connecticut are being monitored after they might have been exposed to the virus. These people are not showing any symptoms now but will be quarantined to their homes for the next 21 days, according to the New York Times.

  • Is it in Lebanon? Lebanon's health minister, Wael Abu Faour, said Thursday that a Lebanese national reported himself to hospital after traveling to West Africa and fearing he was displaying symptoms of the disease. The man is currently under quarantine as a precaution and is being formally tested for Ebola.

A nurse with Mount Sinai Health System and a doctor and member of the Center for Disease Control's Domestic Infection Control Team for the Ebola Response demonstrate to health care professionals how to properly put on protective medical gear when working with someone infected with the Ebola virus. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

  • Rwandan health minister criticized: Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, health minister in Rwanda, backpedaled on her initial requirement for travelers from the U.S. or Spain to report their medical condition. President Paul Kagame's tweeted that the measures instituted by Binagwaho weren't necessary and that his health minister sometimes acts first and thinks later. Binagwaho reversed her decision Wednesday and apologized via Twitter for the inconvenience it might have caused.

  • U.S. hospitals consider denying treatment: According to Reuters, the possible threat of the Ebola virus spreading or being imported in the U.S. is causing some hospitals to consider withholding certain treatments. "This is another example of how this 21st century viral threat has pulled us back into the 19th century," Dr. Howard Markel of the University of Michigan told Reuters.

According to the World Health Organization, the West African countries most impacted by the disease have seen nearly 10,000 cases since the outbreak began with nearly 5,000 deaths.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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