News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

After Ebola, Some Businesses Suffered, While Others Profited

Jim Tuttle/The Dallas Morning News
A worker with CG Environmental-Cleaning Guys sprays disinfectant outside the Marquita Street apartment building in Dallas where a nurse infected with Ebola lives on Oct. 12, 2014.

Dallas faced an unprecedented public health scare in the fall of 2014 when a Liberian national was diagnosed with the Ebola virus. KERA is exploring lessons learned – and taking a deeper look at what happened last year – in anew series called Surviving Ebola.

Explore the KERA digital project here. There’s a timeline of Ebola-related events, voices of those most affected by the virus, and much more.

Our series continues with the economic impact of Ebola. Even though Ebola never took root in the U.S., the virus seemed to spread throughout the economy. The most obvious financial cost was in Texas, at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. But doctors and store owners in Vickery Meadow, the community near the hospital, also paid a price. And some people made money.

As news of Thomas Eric Duncan’s stay at Presbyterian hit the airwaves last fall, emergency room visits at Presbyterian plummeted. Thousands of patients went elsewhere.

This didn’t look good to investors. As bondholders speculated about Presbyterian’s ability to stay afloat, Moody’srevised its outlook on the hospital’s debt from “positive” to “developing.”

For the month of October 2014, revenue at Presbyterian declined more than $12 million. In November, revenue was down $8 million.

Read the rest of the story here.

Selected photoscourtesy of The Dallas Morning News.

Lauren Silverman was the Health, Science & Technology reporter/blogger at KERA News. She was also the primary backup host for KERA’s Think and the statewide newsmagazine  Texas Standard. In 2016, Lauren was recognized as Texas Health Journalist of the Year by the Texas Medical Association. She was part of the Peabody Award-winning team that covered Ebola for NPR in 2014. She also hosted "Surviving Ebola," a special that won Best Long Documentary honors from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). And she's won a number of regional awards, including an honorable mention for Edward R. Murrow award (for her project “The Broken Hip”), as well as the Texas Veterans Commission’s Excellence in Media Awards in the radio category.