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2nd US Ebola Diagnosis: Health Care Worker Who Treated Thomas Eric Duncan Diagnosed with Ebola

Sun October 12 2014 5:34 am
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A health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas who provided health care for Thomas Eric Duncan has tested positive for Ebola after a preliminary test, according to a statement. Confirmatory testing will be conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The health care worker is the second person to test positive for Ebola infection diagnosed in the United States. The first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. was Thomas Eric Duncan, who was treated at the Dallas hospital and released, and then admitted at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Thomas Eric Duncan died on Wednesday. The second patient was not among the 48 people who are being monitored by the CDC. The second patient has been identified only as a female nurse.

A confirmation test will be conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The World Health Organization estimates more than 8,300 victims have contracted Ebola predominantly in West Africa during the current outbreak. More than 4,000 people have died in the outbreak where Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have been hardest hit.

Awareness of the second Ebola diagnosis occurred about midnight Saturday/Sunday after the self-monitoring health care worker reported a low grade fever Friday night.

An increase in epidemiologists and disease detectives was requested about midnight Saturday/Sunday.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital is suspending intake of any patients in the Emergency Room. The emergency room was “on diversion” immediately upon awareness of the second Ebola diagnosis, and because of “limitations in staff capacity.”

The health care worker was wearing protective gear during Duncan’s second visit to the hospital — following full CDC guidelines for full gown, mask and shield. The health care worker was doing self monitoring and had not been to work during the past two days.

Dallas Fire Department’s HazMat Unit has actively decontaminated the common area and the plumbing of the area of an apartment in the 5700 block of Marquita Avenue sprayed a cleanup agent. The apartment complexed is apparently near the intersection of Marquita Avenue and Matilda Street. In the press conference an official incorrectly stated the location was the 3700 block of Marquita Avenue.

Police are also standing by to make sure no people enter the apartment complex.

Police have contacted everyone on the block to inform them of the operations of the HazMat unit.

7:15 a.m. reverse 9-1-1 call was sent out to a four block area.

There is a report about a pet inside the apartment, but there is a report that the pet has no signs of the disease. A plan is in place to retrieve the pet.

HazMat has secured the car and cleaned the car that transported Handrailing and everything in the parking lot has been decontaminated.

The interior of the apartment will be cleaned by a HazMat unit Sunday afternoon.

+ + + +

Statement from Dr. Dan Varga, October 12, 2014, 7:30 a.m. CDT
(Chief Clinical Officer, Senior Executive Vice President)

Late Saturday, a preliminary blood test on a care-giver at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas showed positive for Ebola. The healthcare worker had been under the self-monitoring regimen prescribed by the CDC, based on involvement in caring for patient Thomas Eric Duncan during his inpatient care that started on September 28, 2014.

Individuals being monitored are required to take their temperature twice daily. As a result of that procedure, the care-giver notified the hospital of imminent arrival and was immediately admitted to the hospital in isolation. The entire process, from the patient’s self-monitoring to the admission into isolation, took less than 90 minutes. The patient’s condition is stable. A close contact has also been proactively placed in isolation. The care-giver and the family have requested total privacy, so we can’t discuss any further details of the situation.

We have known that further cases of Ebola are a possibility among those who were in contact with Mr. Duncan before he passed away last week. 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.

Finally, we have put the ED on “diversion” until further notice because of limitations in staffed capacity — meaning ambulances are not currently bringing patients to our emergency department. While we are on diversion we are also using this time to further expand the margin of safety by triple-checking our full compliance with updated CDC guidelines. We are also continuing to monitor all staff who had some relation to Mr. Duncan’s care even if they are not assumed to be at significant risk of infection.

All of these steps are being taken so the public and our own employees can have complete confidence in the safety and integrity of our facilities and the care we provide.


No CDC officials at the press conference.

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