Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Second Nurse Contracts Ebola At Dallas Hospital Where Thomas Duncan Died

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A second health worker, a female nurse, has tested positive for Ebola virus disease. She was among the team who treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian who died of Ebola at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, in Dallas, Texas.

Just yesterday, 26-year-old Vietnamese-American, Nina Pham, was identified as the first health worker to contract the disease from Thomas Eric Duncan.

The worker, a woman who lives alone, was quickly moved into isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

The news cast further doubt on the hospital's ability to handle Ebola and protect employees. It's the same hospital that initially sent Thomas Eric Duncan home, even though he had a fever and had traveled from West Africa. By the time he returned to the hospital, his symptoms had worsened.

He died while being treated by medical staff, including the two women who have now contracted the disease.

"I don't think we have a systematic institutional problem," Dr. Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer of Texas Health Resources, told reporters Wednesday, facing questions about the hospital's actions.

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Medical staff "may have done some things differently with the benefit of what we know today," he said, adding, "no one wants to get this right more than our hospital."

People in the health care worker's office building were informed when officials went door to door, and also through early morning reverse 911 calls, officials said.

The health care worker had no pets, authorities said.
Seventy-five health care workers in Dallas are being monitored for any Ebola symptoms, Varga said.

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