“The captain said there was a person on board who worked in a lab at Texas Health Presbyterian,” Lupher said. “He never said the word ‘Ebola,’ but we all knew that’s what it was.”
The U.S. State Department said in a statement that the employee, a lab supervisor who has not been named, and a partner boarded the boat October 12. That was several days before the CDC updated the requirement for active monitoring of personnel who may have had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. The employee did not come in direct contact with Duncan, the State Department said, but she may have been exposed to his clinical specimens.
“The captain also said that she had been symptom-free for 19 days,” Lupher said, adding that people are eating at the all-you-can-eat buffet as if nothing is wrong. “They’re trusting the fact that the CDC has cleared them. Everyone is in the pool…and at the computers to find out the latest information.”