ELEANOR HALL: To the United States now, where the Dallas hospital
that is looking after the first case of Ebola to be detected inside the US has
admitted that the man's travel from West Africa wasn't communicated to doctors
who initially let him leave.
Now five school-age children who have had contact with him are among 18 people being monitored for symptoms, as North America correspondent Michael Vincent reports.
MICHAEL VINCENT: America's first Ebola patient has been identified by multiple media outlets as Thomas Eric Duncan.
He's reportedly in his mid-40s, and had been living in the Liberian capital, Monrovia.
The New York Times says Liberian authorities have confirmed his identity and have explained how he was exposed to Ebola: that Duncan had helped transport a pregnant woman to hospital in a car when an ambulance would not take her.
The Times says Duncan had been sitting in the front seat holding her legs as the woman - who was seven months pregnant - convulsed.
She was turned away from the hospital and died the following morning.
Mr Duncan arrived in the US four days later on September 20th.
He felt sick on September 24th, but didn't go to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital until September 26th.
That's when a nurse took his travel information, including his contact in West Africa, but that didn't make it to the doctors, who then sent him home.
The hospital's Dr Mark Lester.
MARK LESTER: Regretfully, that information was not fully communicated throughout the full team, and as a result, the full import of that information wasn't factored in to the clinical decision making.
The overall clinical presentation was not typical at that time yet for Ebola.
So as the team assessed him, they felt clinically, it was a low-grade common viral disease, that was the presentation.
MICHAEL VINCENT: Duncan returned to hospital in an ambulance on September 28th, and was placed in isolation.
His Ebola infection was confirmed yesterday.
The ambulance was used for two more days to transport patients before it too was put in quarantine.
The three ambulance staff are now in voluntary isolation as part of a group of 18 people who had contact with Mr Duncan.
Five school-age children are part of those in isolation. The four different schools they attended this week have also been informed.
Health officials say it's highly unlikely they are contagious because they haven't shown any signs of infection.
Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings says extra precautions are being taken at the schools.
MIKE RAWLINGS: Again, we have full confidence in CDC that it's contained.
But just to allay fears, additional health professionals will be on hand, to answer questions, to check any flu-like symptoms or any other symptoms that kids might have.
It's not a hardy virus, and so regular disinfectant is going to help if, should there be anything in the school buildings.
MICHAEL VINCENT: Questions have been asked what it means to be in voluntary isolation.
Dallas Judge Clay Jenkins is overseeing the monitoring of all the relatives.
CLAY JENKINS: Quarantine connotes people in a plastic bubble room, unable to get out.
And that is not the situation here.
We have situations we're we have children that are being asked to stay home; we're having people monitor those children.
It is an evolving process, but it's a complex process.
MICHAEL VINCENT: The complexity of the situation is made all that much clearer when the diversity of the Dallas neighbourhood where Mr Duncan was living is explained.
CLAY JENKINS: Because you've got a neighbourhood where 33 languages are spoken, 25,000 people live there.
We don't want to panic the neighbourhood, we don't want to run people underground, so to speak, as we do this so we're trying to do this in a very thoughtful way.
But what you need to know is that people are focussed on this and they're going to be monitored in such a way that the public can be assured you're going to be safe.
This virus is isolated, is being contained, will be contained.
MICHAEL VINCENT: It's a sentiment being shared in the nation's capital, where US President Barack Obama is being updated on the situation.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
JOSH EARNEST: The president has confidence that we have the ability to stop this Ebola virus in its tracks.
JOURNALIST: So the odds, the chances of an Ebola epidemic or anything even approaching an epidemic in the United States are quite low?
JOSH EARNEST: They're incredibly low and the reason for that is simply that it is not possible to transmit Ebola through the air. You can't catch it through the air.
You can't get Ebola by drinking water or eating food here in the United States.
The only way that an individual can contract Ebola is by coming into contact with the bodily fluids of an individual that is already exhibiting symptoms of Ebola.
MICHAEL VINCENT: As Thomas Eric Duncan fights for his life, another death has been confirmed.
The New York Times says while Duncan was sitting in the front seat of that car, helping the pregnant woman get to hospital - the one who later died - her brother was in the back seat with her.
Her brother died of Ebola last week.
This is Michael Vincent in Washington for The World Today.