Second Worker at Dallas Hospital Tests Positive for Ebola

Posted by Corrie MacLaggan - Texas Tribune on
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus part

A second health care worker at the Dallas hospital that treated the man who died of Ebola has tested positive for the virus, state officials said early Wednesday. 

The worker had provided care for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Duncan died Oct. 8 at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

"The health care worker reported a fever Tuesday and was immediately isolated at the hospital," the health department said on its website. 

The first hospital worker to test positive for Ebola, nurse Nina Pham, also provided care for Duncan. Her condition was listed as good on Tuesday, and she released a statement saying she was doing well, according to The Dallas Morning News.

People who may have come into contact with the second worker will be monitored, state health officials said. The worker tested positive for Ebola in a preliminary test at a state laboratory, and a test to confirm the diagnosis will be done at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. 

"Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person or exposure to contaminated objects such as needles," the state health department's website says. "People are not contagious before symptoms such as fever develop."

Duncan had traveled to Dallas from Liberia and was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas on Sept. 28 after he was diagnosed with the virus. He was initially sent home from an earlier trip to the hospital on Sept. 26, despite telling hospital staff that he had traveled from Africa.

breach of protocol led to Pham's infection, federal health officials have said. 

This story was produced in partnership with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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