We wake to the awful news this morning that a 2nd person has been diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas. No, it isn’t one of Thomas Eric Duncan’s family members. No, it isn’t one of their friends or even Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who has been parading around making a nuisance of himself. This time, it is one of the health care workers from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
According to Melissa Repko and Sherry Jacobson of the Dallas Morning News:
Preliminary testing has confirmed that a health care worker who came in contact with the first person to die of Ebola in the United States has become infected with the virus, the Texas Department of State Health Services has said.
Further testing to confirm the disease will be conducted at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, according to a written statement from the state.
The healthcare worker, who hasn’t been identified, drove 90 minutes from the apartment where he or she lives to the hospital, and reported the low-grade fever. With that report, the patient was immediately placed in isolation.
According to Fox News:
Dr. Daniel Varga, of the Texas Health Resource, said the worker was in full protective gear when they provided care to Duncan during his second visit to the hospital.
Yet the CDC now informs us that there was a clear breach in protocol. TIME reports:
Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the worker had treated Duncan multiple times after the Liberian man was diagnosed.
Frieden tells CBS’ “Face the Nation” that all those who treated Duncan are now considered to be potentially exposed. Frieden couldn’t give an exact number.
Health care workers treating Duncan were to follow CDC protocol that included wearing protective gear.
Among the things CDC will investigate is how the workers took off that gear — because removing it incorrectly can lead to a contamination.
Oh that’s just ducky. The CDC is attempting to place the blame on the patient??!!
Right now, Texas Health Presbyterian and the CDC are working to identify ALL workers who came in contact with Thomas Eric Duncan. Yes, that’s correct. It seems that keeping track of everyone who was tasked to care for Thomas Eric Duncan was not a priority. But never fear, the CDC is on the case:
“This is understandably disturbing news for the patient, the patient’s family and colleagues and the greater Dallas community,” the statement said. “The CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services remain confident that wider spread in the community can be prevented with proper public health measures including ongoing contact tracing, health monitoring among those known to have been in contact with the index patient and immediate isolation if symptoms develop.”
I’d say that contracting Ebola is beyond “disturbing!!” I’d say that this healthcare worker, and his or her family have every right to be scared out of their minds. For the sake of this patient, for everyone who treated Thomas Eric Duncan, and for the sake of everyone who will be treating this new victim of Ebola, lets hope the CDC will finally get its act together.