A health care worker at a Dallas hospital tested positive for Ebola in a preliminary test, the Texas Department of State Health Services said in a statement early Sunday.
The health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, who has not been identified, provided care for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, who died last week.
If the preliminary diagnosis is confirmed, it would be the first known case of the disease being contracted or transmitted in the U.S.
A statement posted on the Texas Department of State Health Service’s website said “confirmatory testing will be conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.”
“The health care worker is a heroic person who provided care to Mr. Duncan,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said at a press conference Sunday morning. “We expected it was possible that a second person could contract the virus. Contingency plans were put into place.”
Jenkins said he wanted to stress Ebola cannot be contracted unless one comes into contact with the bodily fluids of an Ebola victim.
“You cannot contract it by walking by people on the streets,” he said. “There is nothing about this case that changes that basic premise of science.”
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