A second Texas health care worker who provided care for Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan has contracted the virus, according to preliminary test results released early Wednesday. The worker reported a fever Tuesday and was immediately isolated at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, state health officials said in a statement. Confirmatory testing will be carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. “Health officials have interviewed the latest patient to quickly identify any contacts or potential exposures, and those people will be monitored,” the Texas Department of State Health Services said. “The type of monitoring depends on the nature of their interactions and the potential they were exposed to the virus.” It is the third case diagnosed in the U.S.
CDC has not yet blamed this person for a “protocol breach” but the day is still young.
Updates will be posted below.
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AP is reporting this morning that nurses who treated Duncan say they did not have proper protective gear and “faced constantly changing protocols.” Those would be the protocols that CDC said were breached.
A Liberian Ebola patient was left in an open area of a Dallas emergency room for hours, and the nurses treating him worked for days without proper protective gear and faced constantly changing protocols, according to a statement released late Tuesday by the largest U.S. nurses’ union.
Nurses were forced to use medical tape to secure openings in their flimsy garments, worried that their necks and heads were exposed as they cared for a patient with explosive diarrhea and projectile vomiting, said Deborah Burger of National Nurses United.
RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of Nurses United, said the statement came from “several” and “a few” nurses, but she refused repeated inquiries to state how many. She said the organization had vetted the claims, and that the nurses cited were in a position to know what had occurred at the hospital. She refused to elaborate.
Among the nurses’ allegations was that the Ebola patient’s lab samples were allowed to travel through the hospital’s pneumatic tubes, opening the possibility of contaminating the specimen delivery system. The nurses also alleged that hazardous waste was allowed to pile up to the ceiling.
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The CDC has made an effort to downplay fears about an Ebola outbreak. Nonetheless, some Twitter users are concerned.
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We’re sure President Obama is on the case:
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The spread of Ebola is good news for companies that make hazmat suits.
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