DALLAS (AP) — A study published this week in a medical journal says about a dozen more people were hospitalized with Ebola-like symptoms last year after being exposed to the disease in Texas.
The patients ultimately tested negative for the Ebola virus, The Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/1LHST59 ) reported.
The study, which was published Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, says the patients had developed fevers, headaches, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. They were hospitalized for one to five days and were released after tests came back negative.
The study's lead investigator, Dr. Wendy Chung, said that some patients might not have reported their symptoms if they had believed their hospitalization would have been reported by news outlets.
"Our patients appreciated the sensitivity to their privacy," said Chung, who's the chief epidemiologist at Dallas County Health and Human Services. "It would be detrimental to society if fear prevented exposed persons from reporting developing illness."
The report analyzed the effort in which almost 180 people in the Dallas area were identified in needing to be monitored for symptoms. Two nurses, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, at a Dallas hospital were treated after contracting Ebola while caring for a man who had it.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who served as spokesman during the Ebola response effort, said not all those hospitalized were considered likely to develop Ebola.
"We had maybe three we were on pins and needles about," he recalled. "The rest were the result of following the protocols that needed to be followed."
Thomas Eric Duncan was diagnosed with the virus in September after traveling to Dallas from Liberia, which was one of several west African nations severely affected by the disease. He died later in October.