By RYAN GORMAN
Texas officials have revealed that as many as 100 people may have come into contact with a man diagnosed in the state with Ebola.
The startling revelation came Thursday morning only one day after Texas Governor Rick Perry announced that five schoolchildren had come into contact with Liberian national Thomas Duncan.
"We are working from a list of about 100 potential or possible contacts," Texas State Health Department spokesperson Carrie Williams said in a statement.
Officials previously said they were looking at about 80 people while Duncan was being cared for in a Dallas hospital.
Authorities explained they are casting a wide net in order to make sure no one goes untreated and any potential outbreak can be immediately contained.
"The number will drop as we focus in on those whose contact may represent a potential risk of infection," said Williams.
Those under observation include EMS workers, relatives and the five schoolchildren who live in the home of the family member Duncan was staying with.
News that Duncan had taken a United Airlines flight from Liberia through Brussels and Washington, D.C. to Dallas caused shares of the carrier and other airlines to nosedive nearly three percent Wednesday.
Stocks in companies that make Ebola medication were sharply up.
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