FRISCO — Crews transported a patient exhibiting “signs and symptoms of Ebola” from a Frisco CareNow to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.
“Right now, there are more questions than answers about this case,” said Wendell Watson, a spokesman with the hospital.
The patient was identified as Sgt. Michael Monnig, a deputy who accompanied county health officials Zachary Thompson and Christopher Perkins into the apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan stayed in Dallas.
“Initial reports from the urgent care facility indicated the patient had direct contact with the Dallas ‘patient zero’; however, Frisco firefighter-paramedics now report the patient says he had contact with the apartment and family members related to the Dallas ‘patient zero’ prior to the apartment being decontaminated,” said city of Frisco spokesperson Dana Baird.
The deputy was ordered to go inside the unit with officials to get a quarantine order signed. No one who went inside the unit that day wore protective gear.
According to President of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Association Christopher Dyer, Monnig said he was feeling sick to his stomach before his visit to the clinic. Dyer expressed concern for Monnig and his family.
“He’s doing exactly basically what we told him to do: If at any time you don’t feel well, go seek some medical attention,” Dyer said. “I’m being told that he’s not exhibiting classic signs of the Ebola virus. It’s just a matter that he doesn’t feel well, and because he had contact with Mr. Duncan’s apartment, they’re taking every precaution.”
A staff member at CareNow called 911 to report Monnig as a possible Ebola patient.
“The CareNow staff, following [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] recommended screening protocol, contacted Frisco 911 and a fire department EMS crew was dispatched to the scene,” a CareNow statement said. It went on to say health officials, including those from the CDC, came to the clinic and after interviews cleared it to be reopened to see patients.
Frisco Mayor Maher Maso said “risk is minimal” from the new potential Ebola case. Frisco Fire Chief Mark Piland said the patient was transported because he had “a few” symptoms that matched those in the CDC guidelines, but not all of the symptoms.
“At this point, I think we need to take every precaution,” Dyer said. “The hospital will get his blood work tested and we will know whether he is positive or negative for it, so until we know precisely whether he has it or not, we need to take every precaution.”
It will take up to 48 hours to get test results back to determine if Monnig tests positive for the Ebola virus.
The CareNow is located in the 300 block of Main Street. Patients were held inside the clinic as crews at the scene examined staff and others inside the building, but they have since been released.
“Frisco firefighters-paramedics are being decontaminated by hospital staff at Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas in accordance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines,” said city spokesperson Baird.
Health officials said the transportation of the patient was done out of an abundance of caution.
“We are being very cautious and are in contact with the health department to ensure we follow proper protocol,” said Vicki Johns, with CareNow. “Our concern is for the safety and well being of everyone in our clinic.”
News 8’s Jason Whitely spoke to Chuck Moreno, who had gone into the CareNow facility with his 15-year-old son to get a flu shot Wednesday. Moreno said he saw a patient, whose skin was flushed and who was hunched over but walking, enter the clinic with his wife.