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Dallas Ebola Monitoring Period Ends With An All-Clear

As of Friday afternoon, all of the people in Dallas who officials say could have had contact with a patient with the deadly Ebola virus are being declared free of risk. More than 100 people had been monitored for the 21-day period that marks Ebola's incubation period.

From member station KERA:

"A total of 177 people had been monitored for Ebola in North Texas — they include health care workers, household contacts and community members. They either were in contact with the three Ebola patients or handled specimens or medical waste."

Earlier today, former President George W. Bush met with one of those patients, nurse Amber Vinson, during a visit to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the facility where Thomas Eric Duncan was treated before he died one month ago.

The final person being monitored for possible Ebola symptoms works at the hospital and had handled medical waste from one of the cases.

"We're happy to reach this milestone, but our guard stays up," health department Commissioner Dr. David Lakey said. "We reached this point through teamwork and meticulous monitoring, and we'll continue to be vigilant to protect Texas from Ebola."

President Obama called Texas officials Friday afternoon to mark the milestone, telling Lakey, Gov. Rick Perry, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings "that the federal, state, and local cooperation that emerged now serves as a national model," according to the White House.

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.