A second Dallas nurse has been diagnosed with Ebola. She had traveled on a commercial flight from Cleveland to Dallas a few hours before she became ill.
She is the second person to contract the disease after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, who died from the Ebola.
I’m not sure how emergency room personnel, who make the first diagnosis, are going to protect themselves from potential exposure to Ebola. It may lead to masks and gloves all around, even when dealing with removing splinters and from a toddler’s toe.
From ABC News:
A second Texas nurse who has tested positive for Ebola was on a commercial jetliner from Cleveland to Dallas the night before she arrived at the hospital with a fever and was later diagnosed with the deadly virus, officials said today.
The nurse was part of the team at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who took care of a Liberian man who died of Ebola. She is the second member of the hospital staff to contract the virus and a Dallas official warned today that additional cases among the hospital’s health care workers is a “very real possibility.”
“The fight against Ebola in Dallas is a two-front fight now,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said, speaking at a morning press conference.
Authorities said they are now tracking 75 people following the second hospital worker’s diagnosis. The unidentified health care worker reported a fever Tuesday and was isolated at the hospital, authorities said.
The preliminary Ebola test was run late Tuesday at the state public health laboratory in Austin, and results were received at about midnight, authorities said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has begun confirmation testing.
The woman was put into isolation within 90 minutes, and she is dealing with her diagnosis “with grit and grace,” Jenkins said.
Authorities said this may not be the last case to be found among the hospital’s staff.
“We are preparing contingencies for more and that is a very real possibility,” Jenkins said.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings also suggested additional people may get sick.
“It may get worse before it gets better, but it will get better,” the mayor said.
Dr. Daniel Varga of Texas Health Resources defended practices at the hospital, which has faced criticism amid the Ebola diagnoses.
“It’s clear there was an exposure somewhere, sometime in our treatment of Duncan. Let’s be clear we’re a hospital that serves this community extremely well,” Varga said at the press conference.
“We’re the first to diagnose and treat this insidious disease that has attacked two of our own.”
City workers went to the neighborhood of the second patient early this morning to knock on doors to alert people to the news and to be alert to possible symptoms. They handed out flyers and later began robo calls to the area, Varga said.
Rawlings said the community remains vigilant.