Texas Governor Rick Perry today announced that Dallas-area schoolchildren came into physical contact with the first Ebola patient ever to be diagnosed in the United States. He said that they are being closely monitored for any sign of infection.
“I know that parents are being extremely concerned about that development,” the governor said during a press conference on Wednesday. “But let me assure, these children have been identified and they are being monitored. And the disease cannot be transmitted without having any symptoms.”
The governor did not say how many children were exposed, but Texas health officials later said that five kids of elementary, junior and high school ages all came into contact with the patient. They added that health professionals have been dispatched to monitor the student populations at each school. None of the schools have been identified by state officials.
While Ebola can only spread through physical contact, roughhousing and the frequent sharing of food and drink could put schoolchildren at a greater risk than the general population.