An unnamed Texas health care worker who treated Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian Ebola patient who later died, is now the first reported case of an Ebola transmission within the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not consider this new patient to be at “high risk” of infection.
The Washington Post reported:
Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer for Texas Health Resources, which operates Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, said the worker had been under self-monitoring in recent days, which includes taking a temperature twice daily. When the health worker showed signs of a fever, the person notified the hospital, went directly there and immediately was admitted to an isolation room.
Varga said the entire sequence of events took less than 90 minutes.
Because the health care worker followed “full CDC precautions,” he was not considered to be at “high risk” for contracting the virus. Those precautions included “wearing a gown, gloves, a mask and a protective face shield,” the Post reported.
Although Varga said he was “confident that the precautions that we have in place are protecting our health-care workers,” he added that in light of this new case, “We’re very concerned.”
“The system of monitoring, quarantine and isolation was established to protect those who cared for Mr. Duncan as well as the community at large by identifying any potential Ebola cases as early as possible and getting those individuals into treatment immediately,” Varga said.
After this announcement, conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham recalled an earlier announcement by CDC Director Tom Frieden, and tweeted:
But CDC’s Frieden said we’d stop Ebola in its tracks here.” “Health care worker who cared for Duncan has virus.” http://t.co/PgiWzfKDGI”
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) October 12, 2014
Peter Foster, U.S. editor for the Daily Telegraph, tweeted, according to Twitchy:
If US healthcare worker in Texas gets #Ebola in that controlled setting, it must be more contagious than they’re letting on.
— Peter Foster (@pmdfoster) October 12, 2014
Foster’s concern was shared by others:
The infection of an American health care worker in an American hospital ought to puncture the pose of certainty about how Ebola spreads.
— Brandt (@UrbanAchievr) October 12, 2014
A healthcare worker in Texas tests positive for Ebola. Makes me wonder if it’s easier to spread the illness than officials are leading on.
— Chris (@forewit) October 12, 2014
“Stop being crazy! We know exactly how this spreads and can trust everyone to be in perfect compliance with protocols.”
— RB (@RBPundit) October 12, 2014
Watch the announcement of this new case below.