A Dallas Hospital Employee Has Tested Positive For Ebola
Brandon Wade / Reuters
The employee works for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where an Ebola patient from Liberia died earlier this week.
The sick employee reportedly helped care for the patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, who contracted the disease in Liberia but first started showing symptoms in the US. Duncan was the first Ebola case to be diagnosed in the US.
The Texas Department of State Health Services issued this statement:
A health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the Ebola patient hospitalized there has tested positive for Ebola in a preliminary test at the state public health laboratory in Austin. Confirmatory testing will be conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
The health care worker reported a low grade fever Friday night and was isolated and referred for testing. The preliminary ?test result was received late Saturday.
"We knew a second case could be a reality, and we've been preparing for this possibility," said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services. "We are broadening our team in Dallas and working with extreme diligence to prevent further spread."
Health officials have interviewed the patient and are identifying any contacts or potential exposures. People who had contact with the health care worker after symptoms emerged will be monitored based on the nature of their interactions and the potential they were exposed to the virus.
Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person or exposure to contaminated objects such as needles. People are not contagious before symptoms such as fever develop.
More than 4,000 people have died in what's been the worst Ebola outbreak the world has ever seen. Ebola is mostly concentrated to West Africa, where more than 8,000 people have contracted the disease.
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