GALVESTON, Tx--For the moment, sleepy little Galveston Island has become the epicenter of Ebola attention.
As the 'Carnival Magic' docked in Galveston, word came that the lab-tech on board, monitored for Ebola, passed the blood test. She does not have the disease. She handled specimens from the nation's first confirmed Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died Oct. 8 at Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
With a negative test she was allowed to disembark early, to protect her privacy. Cruise passengers, turned away from one port at the height of the on-board Ebola scare, got partial refunds.
Across the island, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston is in the process of destroying medical waste from Duncan`s stay at Texas Health Presby hospital, in Dallas. The hospital itself, besieged with bad publicity over its handling of Ebola, is issuing a full page apology in local newspapers.
The apology has a lot of ground to cover including its decision to first turn away Duncan when he showed up, the two nurses who treated him and caught the virus and the worker who hopped on the cruise after handling Duncan`s samples.
The ad says, "...we made mistakes in handling this very difficult challenge."
Also ready to put the past behind them, 48 people exposed to Duncan. Monday concludes 21 days of isolation for that group, including six of his family members.
As the Carnival Magic prepares to pull up anchor and sail on, perhaps the threat of Ebola will follow suit.