A Texas health care worker who was part of the team that treated America’s first Ebola case has tested positive for the virus, a state health official said today.
A Texas health worker who provided care for the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States has tested positive for the deadly virus in a preliminary examination, a state health official said on Sunday.
The health care worker at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital reported a low-grade fever Friday night and was isolated and referred for testing, the Texas Department of State Health Services said in a statement.
“We knew a second case could be a reality, and we’ve been preparing for this possibility,” said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the health service.
The first person in the United States diagnosed with Ebola, Liberia citizen Thomas Eric Duncan, died in an isolation ward of the Dallas hospital on Oct. 8, 11 days after being admitted.
The U.S. government has since ordered five airports to start screening passengers from West Africa for fever.
No word on how the worker contracted the virus, although it’s remarkable that with all the precautions, all the protective gear, the worker was still exposed.
Health officials have interviewed the patient and are identifying any contacts or potential exposures. People who had contact with the health care worker after symptoms emerged will be monitored based on the nature of their interactions and the potential they were exposed to the virus.
Health care workers see a lot of patients every day so you would hope that part of the monitoring that went on following the death of Thomas Duncan was limiting the number of hospital patients seen by the people who treated him.
Dare we point out that this wasn’t supposed to happen? That we were told that all the protective clothing, isolation wards, and hi-tech care would make the spread of the disease unlikely?
It may be unlikely, but it’s happened.