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Ebola Dallas: Nurse Who Treated Dead Victim Now Has the Virus

Image: Ebola Dallas: Nurse Who Treated Dead Victim Now Has the Virus
A man dressed in protective hazmat clothing treats the front porch of an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. (Mike Stone/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 13 Oct 2014 08:52 AM

A Dallas nurse has contracted Ebola while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian national who on Wednesday became the first person in the US to die of from the virus.

CDC Director Thomas Frieden announced Sunday morning on CBS News that the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital caregiver is the first person to ever contract Ebola in the US, and has been isolated.

On Monday, Mayor Mike Rawlings told USA Today that the nurse's dog, who may also have the virus, will be moved to a new location as a hazmat team works to decontaminate the apartment. At this time there are no plans to euthanize the dog.

"This was a new twist," Rawlings said. "The dog's very important to the patient and we want it to be safe."

Dr. Frieden explained that the CDC is taking four steps to ensure the health and safety of the nurse as well as the public at large. Those measures are isolating and caring for the nurse, identifying who the nurse had contact with, treating all of the other nurses who cared for Duncan in accordance with their possible exposure, and investigating how the nurse became infected.

"Infections only occur when there's a breach in protocol," he said.

"We know from many years of experience that it's possible to care for potentials with Ebola safely without risk to healthcare workers but we also know that it's hard, that even a single breach can result in contamination and one of the areas that we look at closely are things like how you take off the gear that might be infected or contaminated."

Upon a preliminary investigation, it appears the breach may have occurred during Duncan's kidney dialysis, which involves intubation, body fluids, and blood.

Frieden also expressed the CDC's commitment to transparency, and explained that he was speaking with the media less than 12 hours after the nurse's blood test returned positive for Ebola.

"The fact is that the individual who became ill was, as per protocol, self-monitoring. Immediately when they developed symptoms they isolated themselves, they were promptly isolated at the hospital so that any further spread from that individual was stopped," he explained.

Some medical experts have said that the CDC needs stricter and clearer guidelines for healthcare workers, and criticized the fact that the nurse drove to the hospital, instead of being taken in by a hazmat team that could minimize the potential spread of the virus.


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A Dallas nurse has contracted Ebola while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian national who on Wednesday became the first person in the US to die of from the virus.
ebola, dallas
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2014-52-13
Monday, 13 Oct 2014 08:52 AM
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