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Students who visited Ebola-stricken areas are healthy, Penn State says

About 80 Penn State University students who traveled to Ebola-stricken areas before the school year began are considered healthy, university officials said Saturday.

School officials had asked the students to self-monitor for signs of infection, including fever, vomiting and diarrhea, according to university spokeswoman Lisa Powers, and none has reported being ill. Ebola infection usually appears between eight and 10 days after exposure but can take as long as to 21 days to appear, federal health officials said.

“Everyone has indicated they are healthy,” Powers said. “Classes have been in session since late August.”

The first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, Liberian national Thomas E. Duncan, has been downgraded to critical condition in Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not released treatment information for Duncan, saying only that experimental options are available.

Nine people were in close contact with Duncan and are being monitored, CDC Director Tom Frieden said, and four of them are friends and family Duncan was visiting in Dallas. The others apparently are health care and emergency workers. As many 40 other people had some contact with Duncan and are being monitored.

More than 100 people have been interviewed about their level of contact with Duncan, who fell ill and went to the Presbyterian Hospital’s emergency room on Sept. 26, before being mistakenly released. He returned on Sept. 28, and a blood test confirmed the presence of Ebola a day later.

Megha Satyanarayana is a staff writer at Trib Total Media.


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