Dallas Nurse Becomes Second Person Diagnosed With Ebola In United States
A health care worker who had treated the late Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan, is now the second person to be diagnosed with the virus in the United States and the first to contract it within the country.
Second Ebola Case In Dallas
The nurse who has tested positive for Ebola had "extensive contact" on "multiple occasions” with Duncan, according to CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. "At some point, there was a breach in protocol, and that breach in protocol resulted in this infection," he said at a news conference Sunday. "The (Ebola treatment) protocols work. … But we know that even a single lapse or breach can result in infection."
The nurse noticed that she was suffering from a slight fever on Friday night and was soon hospitalized. She was immediately isolated, and by Saturday night, test results revealed that she had contracted Ebola, reported CNN. A "close contact" of the nurse is now also in isolation. The hazardous materials unit of the Dallas Fire Department has also decontaminated the nurse’s apartment complex, while police have been checking in with neighboring residents.
Since Duncan was admitted to the Dallas hospital a couple of weeks ago, it came as little surprise to officials that another case of Ebola was detected and it had been prepared for.
"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. "We are broadening our team in Dallas and working with extreme diligence to prevent further spread."
"I think we've always expected that there may be another individual who will come down with the Ebola from the transmission of this one particular person, and we always felt that it was going to likely be one of his close contacts or one of the health care workers, because that's the way this virus works," Dr. Frank Esper added to CNN.
"I will tell you that the fact that we identified this individual so quickly is actually to me a sign that the system is working."
Duncan brought Ebola to the United States after visiting with an ill relative in Liberia. When he first sought medical attention for a fever, he was sent away from the hospital with antibiotics. A few days later he returned to the hospital and was diagnosed with Ebola. Despite the efforts to save him, Duncan died at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Oct. 8. He is the first person in the United States to die of the virus.
Thus far, the CDC reports that 4,000 have died in the current Ebola outbreak out of the more than 8,300 estimated individuals who’ve come down with the virus.