A Texas health care worker who treated the first state’s Ebola patient, has been tested positive for the virus, officials said blaming a breach in of treatment protocols for the new case.
“A health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the Ebola patient hospitalized there has tested positive for Ebola in a preliminary test at the state public health laboratory in Austin,” said a statement from Texas Department of State Health Services.
According to the state’s health services, the woman had “a low grade fever Friday night and was isolated and referred for testing.”
The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital worker has tested positive for Ebola in a preliminary exam.
“Confirmatory testing will be conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta,” the state public health laboratory in Austin said.
“We knew a second case could be a reality, and we’ve been preparing for this possibility,” said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services. “We are broadening our team in Dallas and working with extreme diligence to prevent further spread.”
Health officials have interviewed the patient to find out who he had been in contact with, or whether there were any potential exposures. They said that those who had contact with him “will be monitored based on the nature of their interactions and the potential they were exposed to the virus.”
The care worker had been treating the Liberian national, Thomas Eric Duncan,who became the first man to be diagnosed in the United States with Ebola. The man died October 8 in the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
Although no further cases of the often fatal disease have been discovered yet in the US, health officials in Texas were still monitoring 48 people on Wednesday who might have been previously exposed to the virus through Duncan.
“This is a very critical week,” Dr. David Lakey, the Texas health commissioner, told the Associated Press. “We’re at a very sensitive period when a contact could develop symptoms. We’re monitoring with extreme vigilance.”
A total of 18 employees are currently being monitored, officials at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas said at a briefing.
A top federal health official said that the Ebola diagnosis in a health worker shows there was a clear breach of safety protocol.
Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the worker had treated Duncan multiple times after the Liberian man was diagnosed.
All those who treated deceased Duncan are now considered to be potentially exposed. Testing of the second Ebola patient in Dallas will be completed later Sunday.
CDC will look for possible breaches during Duncan’s dialysis and incubation, Frieden said….