WRAPUP 2-Ebola worries end for dozens on U.S. watch lists
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By Anna Driver
DALLAS Oct 20 (Reuters) - Weeks of worries about Ebola infection ended for dozens of people who came off watch lists in the United States on Monday, but scores were still being monitored after potential exposure to the virus, Texas health officials said.
Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with the disease in the United States, were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after showing no symptoms for 21 days, the state health department said, while another 120 remained on watch lists.
The end of monitoring for some could ease widespread anxiety over Ebola in the United States, where some lawmakers have called for a travel ban from West Africa to check the spread of the virus.
The worst outbreak on record of Ebola has killed more than 4,500 people, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
The World Health Organization declared Nigeria free of Ebola on Monday after a 42-day period with no new cases, a success story for African nations struggling to contain the virus.
On Sunday, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf urged stronger international action to control the epidemic, saying the disease was unleashing an economic catastrophe that would leave a "lost generation" of young West Africans.
As health officials cleared some people who had been monitored, the federal government ramped up its response in the United States, where three people have been diagnosed with the virus; Duncan - a Liberian who died on Oct. 8 - and two nurses who treated him. Continued...