Less than a week after a Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, died from Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, in Dallas, Texas in the United States of America, USA, a nurse in the country has also been diagnosed with the deadly disease.
According to a report published by the Wall Street Journal, the affected nurse was one of the health workers who cared for the late Duncan, heightening concerns about the nation’s preparedness and protocols for containing the spread of Ebola.
The nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas was isolated Friday night after reporting a low-grade fever, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
It was however confirmed on Sunday that the nurse had Ebola after she was tested on Saturday’s night.
Media and a bystander outside the Dallas residence of a health-care worker who tested positive for Ebola on Sunday. Associated Press.
Meanwhile, the diagnosis was disconcerting because the woman was wearing protective gear while caring for Duncan, the Liberian patient who died Wednesday after 10 days in the hospital.CDC Director Tom Frieden called the infection a result of a “breach in protocol” at the hospital and said more cases may emerge.
“Unfortunately, it is possible in the coming days that we will see additional cases of Ebola,” Dr. Frieden said in a news conference. “This is because the health-care workers who cared for this individual may have had a breach of the same nature.”
As a result of the latest development, it was gathered that President Barack Obama has ordered an inquiry into what went wrong at the hospital. Congressional Republicans said the administration must do more to reassure Americans they are safe.
Commenting on the way forward, Dr. Frieden said the search for people possibly exposed to Ebola will now expand to include contacts of the health-care workers who had contact with Duncan between Sept. 28 and Oct. 8, when he died.
Texas officials said only one person had close contact with the Dallas nurse since she developed symptoms, and that person has also been isolated as a precaution.
The second Dallas Ebola case raises questions about how prepared U.S. hospitals are for the disease, outside of some specialized facilities.
The Obama administration has taken steps to reduce the risk of transmission in the U.S. since Mr. Duncan was diagnosed, including implementing new screening for travelers arriving from West Africa, where more than 4,000 people have died of Ebola.
The lates infection is the first transmitted in the U.S. and the second outside of West Africa, following that of a nurse’s aide in Spain who had cared for a missionary repatriated from Sierra Leone.