For the first time, a person has contracted Ebola inside the United States, according to multiple news reports out of Texas. And it’s happened at the very hospital where Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan died from the deadly virus.
And now, as CNN reports, that “confirmed” case of infection in a health care worker in Dallas may have led to yet another U.S. Ebola victim:
A “close contact” of the health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas who preliminarily tested positive for Ebola has been “proactively” placed in isolation, Texas Health Resources chief clinical officer Dan Varga said Sunday.
The Dallas Morning News says that further testing at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is being done to see if the “preliminary” diagnosis of Ebola in the hospital worker is, in fact, accurate.
No details about the infected worker have been released, including how or when the person came in contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. Duncan died Wednesday in Dallas.
The worker was said to have been involved in Duncan’s second visit to the hospital, when he was admitted for treatment, and that worker was wearing protective gear.
“We knew a second case could be a reality, and we’ve been preparing for this possibility,” Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said in a statement Sunday morning.
“We are broadening our team in Dallas and working with extreme diligence to prevent further spread.”
Despite precautions, a number of health professionals and volunteers caring for Ebola victims have become infected in Africa and elsewhere outside the United States.
Again, via cnn.com:
Three countries — Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia — have been hardest hit. And many of those who care for the ill have also come down with the disease.
The World Health Organization estimates at least 416 health care workers have contracted Ebola, and at least 233 have died.
In reaction to the latest news out of Texas, twitter erupted:
Dallas doctor: New Ebola patient was 'following full CDC precautions…gown, glove, mask, and shield.' Still contracted virus.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) October 12, 2014
The infection of an American health care worker in an American hospital ought to puncture the pose of certainty about how Ebola spreads.
— Brandt (@UrbanAchievr) October 12, 2014
Did the infected TX health care worker treat other patients after Duncan? http://t.co/BVNHaQ6fY3
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) October 12, 2014
Image credit: Twitter
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.