DALLAS — Well, they knew it was probably just a matter of time, and early Sunday morning, health officials confirmed a preliminary test shows a second person has tested positive for Ebola.
Patient two is one of Texas Health Presbyterian’s own; a health care worker who had extensive contact with Thomas Eric Duncan.
“That health care worker is a heroic person who provided care to Mr. Duncan,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said during an early morning press conference.
Duncan was the first patient diagnosed with the deadly virus in the U.S. He died last Wednesday. But here`s the scary part – the hospital says the worker who helped treat Duncan, was wearing full protective gear.
“The patient’s condition is stable,” Dr. Dan Vega with Texas Presby explained. “A close contact has also been proactively placed in isolation.”
Now, the CDC says a possible breach in protocol led to the second patient getting infected. “We’re deeply concerned about this new development with a preliminary positive in a healthcare worker who cared for the index patient,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said.
“I think the fact that we don’t know of a breach in protocol is concerning because clearly there was a breach in protocol. We have the ability to prevent the spread of Ebola by caring safely for patients.”
The patient was considered `low risk` and wasn`t even among the 48-people monitored by Dallas County. The health care worker was, however, among 18- others who were asked to self-monitor by the hospital and the CDC.
Presby says she came down with a fever on Friday and has not been to work in the past two days. Little is being shared about patient number two, but we do know she drove herself to the hospital and was immediately placed in isolation.
That was apparently the hospital`s procedure, and not the plan outlined by the CDC. Their protocol includes an ambulance trip to the hospital for anyone showing symptoms. So, then why aren’t they both on the same page?
“It appears the hospital worker followed her protocol and got to the hospital within 90 minutes,” Zach Thompson with Dallas County Health Department said.
So far, everyone else who`s being monitored remains in the clear; that includes Louise Troh and the three others who shared an apartment with Duncan. The CDC is now sending more officials to Dallas to help contain the spread of Ebola.
Meanwhile, the city and county try to reassure the public.
“You cannot contract Ebola other than from the bodily fluids from a symptomatic Ebola victim,” Jenkins said.