A Dallas hospital health worker who took care of an Ebola patient is positive in preliminary testing for the deadly disease, Texas Department of State Health Services said in a statement on Sunday.
The unidentified Texas Presbyterian worker took care of Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, the first man to be diagnosed with Ebola virus in the United States and died last Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.
If the worker tested positive for the virus in a confirmatory testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), he or she will be the first person in the United States to acquire the disease outside West Africa, Fox News reported.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”–Dr. David Lakey” author_title=”Commissioner, Texas Department of State Health Services”]
We knew a second case could be a reality, and we’ve been preparing for this possibility. We are broadening our team in Dallas and working with extreme diligence to prevent further spread,
In a press conference, Dr. Daniel Varga of the Texas Health Resources said that the worker was wearing a protective gown, gloves, mask and shield while providing care to Duncan during his second visit to hospital.
He said that the worker reported a fever on Friday night after days of self-monitoring regimen required by the CDC.
It is not yet clear how the worker got the virus despite wearing full protective gear, but the CDC will check how health workers are removing it.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Fire Department has already decontaminated the open areas of the health care worker’s apartment, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said.