In the first case of Ebola transmission in the United States, a Texas nurse who treated an Ebola-stricken Liberian man has tested positive for the deadly virus.
The diagnosis was confirmed Sunday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, four days after the death of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas.
Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, said that an unknown breach in protocol led to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital worker being infected and that federal officials are investigating. He said additional CDC staff are heading to Texas.
Frieden also said more cases may be likely.
“We are deeply concerned by the news,” he said during a news conference Sunday. Frieden said the worker, whom other officials identified as a female nurse, provided care for Duncan on “multiple occasions” that included “extensive contacts with him.”
The CDC did not consider the nurse to be “high risk,” said Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer for Texas Health Resources, which operates Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. She treated Duncan, the Ebola patient, after his second visit to the emergency room, on Sept. 28, and was “following full CDC precautions,” including wearing a gown, gloves, a mask and a protective face shield.
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