Five Dallas ISD students may have had contact with Ebola patient, none are sick

Five Dallas ISD students may have had contact with Ebola patient, none are sick

By Tawnell D. Hobbs thobbs@dallasnews.com
12:21 pm on October 1, 2014 | Permalink
http://educationblog.dallasnews.com/2014/10/five-dallas-isd-students-had-contact-with-ebola-patient-none-are-sick.html/

Five Dallas ISD students at four schools may have had contact with the Ebola patient in Dallas and stayed home from school as a precaution, according to a district email (see below) sent to employees today.

The kids are not showing symptoms of having the virus.

The students, who were not named, attend Tasby Middle School, Hotchkiss Elementary School, Dan D. Rogers Elementary and Conrad High School. The schools are in the Vickery Meadow area in northeast Dallas where many refugee families and other immigrants have settled in apartments.

DISD is also monitoring Lowe Elementary since it is connected to Tasby.

Mikey Terrell, a Conrad volunteer who lives in downtown Dallas, said news was spreading around the school that the man with Ebola lived or was visiting family nearby.

“It’s just getting around, just a few minutes ago,” he said today. He said he’d read about symptoms and prevention tips.

“I’ll just keep my hands to myself,” he said.

Click here for more information on the Ebola virus. Here’s a link on DISD’s website with more information.

More information, 12:49 p.m.:

Superintendent Mike Miles said during an afternoon news conference that impacted schools would have additional health professionals and custodial staff. He said that the district was informed this morning by Dallas County Health and Human Services of the five students that could have had contact with the Ebola patient.

“They possibly had contact with the patient over the weekend, and they have been in school since,” Miles said.

More information from Staff Writer Melissa Repko, 12:55 p.m.:

Tammy Brown, a mother of two students at Conrad, drove to pick up her daughter for a doctors appointment. She was greeted by a closed gate.

Her daughter, a junior in high school, came home Tuesday and said she didn’t want to go to school. She’d heard the man diagnosed with Ebola lived in a nearby apartment or was visiting there.

“She was real freaked out about it,” Brown said. “She worried someone was floating around with it.”

Brown spent Tuesday night researching on Google where the virus came from and how it spreads. She said she wishes the school district had sent home informational fliers to notify parents and tell them the virus’ symptoms. They could also make courtesy calls like they did when a middle school student was diagnosed with tuberculosis nearby, she said.

Her daughter’s fears concerned her, too.

“It made me nervous,” she said. “I had to stop because she was asking me questions and I didn’t have answers. I didn’t want to scare her.”

But Wednesday, Brown said her daughter decided to go to school anyway. “She tries to keep good attendance.”

More information from Staff Writer Jeff Mosier, 2:17 p.m.:

Shortly after lunch, a handful of Hotchkiss Elementary parents showed up to pull their children out of class.

Mayra Duarte, mother of a Hotchkiss first grader, said she first heard about the Ebola connection on the DISD Facebook page. “I don’t think I’m going to bring him until we go to the doctor and check him and see if he’s okay,” Duarte said.

This as well as the start of flu season has her worried about her son’s health.

One woman, who declined to give her name and appeared frantic, rushed up to the school and would only say: “I’m picking up my baby. ”

On her way out, she said she was hurrying to another of the schools to get her other child.

Deatra Allen, the aunt of a Hotchkiss kindergarten student, was unaware of the Ebola exposure until she was surrounded by members of the media in front of the school. She said this was a little too close to home.

“I don’t know if I want him to come back tomorrow,” she said.

More information, 2:38 p.m.:

The NEA-Dallas employees association urged health officials “to quarantine the five children” until they are satisfied that the kids have not contacted the disease.

“As always, their teachers will go the extra mile to help them get caught up on their studies after they return to class,” the group said in a statement.

Dallas ISD Ebola Notice

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