Heckuva job, Friedy! That’s CDC Director Thomas Frieden, who said yesterday that “in hindsight … the nation’s health protection agency should have stepped in and taken control when the country’s first Ebola case emerged in Dallas.” More could have been done to curb the spread of the deadly virus, he added, allowing as how even one victim contracting the disease stateside was “one too many.”
This morning, the number of cases of infection doubled. The Dallas Morning News reports that a second health care worker has tested positive for the Ebola virus:
The health care worker, like nurse Nina Pham, took care of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who became the nation’s first person diagnosed with the deadly virus.
The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed the positive results. Dallas police have announced that they have set up a staging area in northeast Dallas near Skillman Street and Village Bend Drive.
Officers and Dallas-Fire Rescue personnel were distributing fliers to residents of an apartment complex to alert them about the latest Ebola case.
A hazardous-materials team was preparing to decontaminate the apartment complex where the latest Ebola patient lives, police said. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings was also at the apartment complex.The worker reported a fever Tuesday and was immediately isolated at the hospital, health department spokeswoman Carrie Williams said in a written statement.
No further details had been released yet about the new Ebola victim.
“Health officials have interviewed the latest patient to quickly identify any contacts or potential exposures, and those people will be monitored,” she said. “The type of monitoring depends on the nature of their interactions and the potential they were exposed to the virus.”
In a press briefing yesterday, Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, joined Friedan in underscoring the gravity of the Ebola crisis, emphasizing that “we are a force here on the ground here in Texas to make sure this is contained.” That reassurance comes as cold comfort now that the second U.S. case of infection has become a reality.