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Apartment where Dallas Ebola patient stayed left contaminated as cleaning company stalled by permit issues

Ebola patient

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(NaturalNews) With an Ebola pandemic only steps away from unleashing hell in America, its government red tape that's keeping a hazardous waste cleanup crew from disinfecting Thomas Eric Duncan's Dallas apartment. Forced to abide by permit rules, the hazardous waste cleanup crew is waiting to remove sheets, clothes and towels from the apartment where Duncan stayed because they haven't obtained the correct permits to transport the hazardous material. Duncan is now quarantined at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, but his family members, including his girlfriend Louise Troh, are now locked up in their apartment, stuck inside with contaminated bedding and laundry.

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta reminded everyone that Ebola can live outside the body on things like bedding, towels and clothes, remaining viable for hours or days, exposing new victims to the virus through simple contact.

The apartment is likely contaminated, because Duncan was released from the hospital the first time that he checked in. No one, not customs, not Dallas doctors and not family members, took his case seriously. He returned home. Not too long afterward, he began vomiting. That's when he was admitted to the hospital a second time. He wasn't properly diagnosed until September 30, when a blood test confirmed that he had Ebola. He was quickly cordoned off in isolation. US health authorities have since then ordered his girlfriend, her son and their two nephews to stay in their apartment until October 19. Now they are preparing to move the family members to a new, discreet location. Meanwhile, cleanup crews have been stopped from decontaminating the apartment.

Department of Transportation blocking decontamination effort of Duncan residence

A private company, Cleaning Guys, has been tasked with disinfecting and removing hazardous materials from the apartment. According to Dallas County Fire Marshal Robert De Los Santos, the materials were placed in hazardous waste bags and transported to secure locations, but a permit issue is now stalling the cleaning process. Brad Smith of Cleaning Guys reported that their company needs a specialized permit to transport this type of hazardous waste on Texas highways.

At a special briefing, Dr. David Lakey of the Texas Department of State Health Services said that hazmat teams still don't have the necessary permits to transport and dispose of Duncan's contaminated apartment items. Why is red tape holding back the cleanup effort? Isn't it time to get real and cut through the red tape?

Who is stalling the effort to decontaminate and remove the Ebola-contaminated items? It's the Department of Transportation. According to CDC spokeswoman Abbigail Tumpey, Ebola-contaminated medical waste can be disposed of as regular medical waste, but the Department of Transportation forbids Ebola being transported, because it is classified as a Category A agent.

"The CDC and the DOT regulations have been in conflict. It's been an ongoing issue that we've been dealing with," she said.

At least 50 people being monitored

As of now, 50 people in the area who came in contact with Duncan are being monitored closely. This means that they are visited twice a day by a public health worker who checks for symptoms. Five of these people are children who attended Sam Tasby Middle School. District spokesman Andre Riley said that one of the students showed up to school October 1. "We're not sure why the Tasby student showed up for school on Wednesday but, once he was identified, he was asked to go to the nurse's office so that a parent could be contacted. During the limited time he was on campus, he showed no symptoms." Riley said that the students in question are not being allowed to attend school at the moment "out of an abundance of caution."





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