UPDATE: Blood test negative for Dallas deputy who fell ill after visiting Ebola patient’s home
By Matt Peterson
Published: October 9, 2014 12:22 pm
Update at 5:33 p.m.:
Officials at Presbyterian hospital released a statement saying Monnig has been discharged.
“Physicians at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas have discharged Deputy Michael Monnig following the negative test results. The family has asked for privacy at this time.”
Update at 3:30 p.m.:
Officials at Presbyterian hospital released their own statement expressing their relief at the negative test results.
“The professionals at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas are relieved for Deputy Michael Monnig’s family and friends that the blood test has been returned quickly and was negative for Ebola.”
The hospital said Monnig’s doctors would determine when he would be released.
Update at 2:45 p.m.:
Testing on the Dallas County deputy’s specimen came back negative for Ebola, according to the state health department.
Staff writer Tasha Tsiaperas contributed to this report:
A Dallas County sheriff’s deputy who fell ill after visiting the apartment of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan is doing well today and shows no signs of having the disease, hospital officials say.
Michael West Monnig visited an urgent care clinic in Frisco on Wednesday afternoon complaining of fatigue and a stomachache. He was rushed to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, hours after Duncan died in an isolation unit there.
“Mr. Monnig’s condition is good with no fever, no vomiting, no diarrhea reported,” according to a written statement from Presbyterian. “His current condition is not consistent with an early stage Ebola diagnosis.”
The deputy was given a battery of tests and remains in isolation. His blood was sent to Austin for further study, and results were expected later today.
Last week, Monnig helped serve a warrant ordering those inside the apartment Thomas Eric Duncan had been staying in not to leave. That was enough to put health officials on alert, but they said from the start that the chances of his having the deadly disease were minimal.
Monnig, like four other officers, were not wearing protective gear when they went inside the apartment, said Senior Sgt. Chris Dyer, president of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Association.
Dyer said the deputies were given a “false sense of security” at that time because they were with Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who also weren’t wearing protective gear.
But the deputies were told the next day to bag the uniforms and boots they wore into the apartment and that their vehicles would need to be decontaminated, Dyer said.
“Then the guys really started getting worried,” he said.
Dyer said it wasn’t necessary for the sheriff’s deputies to go to the apartment at all.
“In hindsight, I would prefer they not be there at all,” he said. ”This is not a law enforcement situation. It’s a medical situation.”
Monnig went to an emergency care facility Wednesday as a precaution. And his wife has asked Dyer to remind the public to “take a deep breath and calm down.”
“I really think there’s probably a very, very remote chance that they came into contact with the virus, but because the virus is so dangerous we really need to take every precaution we can,” Dyer said.