Official Dallas heaved a public sigh of relief Friday, marking the last day when anybody local would be screened for Ebola symptoms. But some in the community are staying focused on West Africa, where the infection continues.
“We are a global community, and until it is resolved for everyone it is not resolved for anyone,” said Cindy Wiles, executive director of Restore Hope, an Arlington-based ministry that will be hosting a food-packing event Sunday, with volunteers boxing 10,000 meals bound for Sierra Leone.
The World Health Organization released a new estimate for the toll of the illness in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone: About 5,000 known dead and more than 13,000 known infections. The actual numbers are probably higher. And while new cases may be declining in Liberia and Guinea, there’s no indication the pace has slowed in Sierra Leone.
For North Texas, however, the spotlight was finally off. All total, 177 people had been monitored for the disease after possibly coming into contact with one of three Dallas patients. None contracted Ebola. The Texas health department signaled the all-clear with a tweet early Friday evening:
“It’s official. This evening’s final monitoring check is done. No symptoms. We are happy to close this Ebola chapter with Dallas tonight.”