(Wortham, TX) – The unused wing of a retirement community in Wortham, Texas was transformed into a makeshift Ebola ward early this morning after 17 kindergarten students fell violently ill and tested positive for the Ebola virus. It is believed that the children were exposed to the deadly disease after sharing classrooms with a Liberian foreign exchange student. The girl had recently arrived in the states to spend a year with an American family after her own parents were displaced by war. She began vomiting excessively two week after her arrival and tested positive for Ebola shortly before the other children began displaying symptoms themselves.
Lindsay Belknap is a substitute teacher who was working with the children during the time in which they are believed to have became infected. She is currently under observation at an undisclosed local hospital. National Report was able to speak with Lindsay for a short phone interview where she had the following to say.
“It was like a domino effect. First one child, then two, then 3. Pretty soon nearly all of them were sick. I am scared because as you know, children smear their germs all over everything. I am constantly sanitizing surfaces, wiping faces and hands. Who knows how many people have become infected. It’s tragic and it’s a reality.”
Panicked relatives lined up outside of the former Hillsview Retirement Community in Wortham awaiting news about their sick children. One woman who was visibly distressed had to be escorted from the premises by armed security guards. Several trucks carrying bio-hazard decontamination equipment were witnessed throughout the property to help minimize the risk of others becoming exposed to infection.
23 specially trained medical staff members have been brought in from neighboring states to tend the children; A daunting task, mainly due to the measures they must take in order to avoid getting infected with Ebola themselves. Many emerge exhausted after administering care for several hours while wearing a bulky hazmat suit. Despite inquiries made in regard to the current heath status of the youths, medical staff refused to disclose any information on their condition.
Jane M. Agni (2014, October 20)
Originally Published On National Report