By Lynn R. Mitchell
This morning’s news wasn’t good (see Health care worker at Dallas hospital tests positive for Ebola):
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 was not identified in the statement, provided care for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient in the United States, who died last week.
The worker reported a “low grade fever” Friday night and was isolated and referred for testing. The preliminary result was received late Saturday.
“We knew a second case could be a reality, and we’ve been preparing for this possibility,” Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said in the statement. “We are broadening our team in Dallas and working with extreme diligence to prevent further spread.”
Thomas Eric Duncan was first at the hospital emergency room with 103 temperature and sent home with antibiotics. It’s a little alarming to think about the possibility of multiple infections from that first visit when it was unknown that he was suffering from Ebola — door handles, chairs, writing pens for filling out forms — is all that a possibility? I’m kind of a germaphobe anyway as far as washing hands and cleaning door knobs with Clorox wipes. I can only imagine what Mr. Duncan came into contact with and how those who interacted with him may be reacting to this latest news. Will there be more? Health care workers are on the front line of this lethal disease.
See the Sunday Washington Post’s Containing Ebola: What it would take by Patterson Clark.