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Ebola in US: Texan nurse infected after taking care of patient

A Texas health care worker has tested positive for Ebola, in what is believed to be the first case of the disease contracted on American soil.

The female nurse had helped care for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who was diagnosed with Ebola in the United States last month. He died last Wednesday.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said: "This development is understandably disturbing news for the patient, the patient's family and colleagues and the greater Dallas community.

"The CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services remain confident that wider spread in the community can be prevented with proper public health measures."

A worker hangs a tarp blocking view of the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides. Photo:AFP

 

The latest case sparked a CDC investigation, triggering a hunt for more health care workers who may have been exposed to the virus.

"Careful monitoring of all health care workers who had interaction with the index patient and this second patient is warranted," said the CDC.

Nurse contracted virus after 'breach of protocol'

Director of the CDC, Dr Thomas Frieden said that the female nurse contracted the virus after a "breach of protocol".

Epidemiologists suggested that these breaches could happen during kidney dialysis, respirator intubation and removal of contaminated gears.

She is among 19 staff at the hospital who had close contact with Duncan. CDC have requested that the staff diligently monitor themselves and report any signs to the authorities.

Last week, a Spanish nurse was diagnosed with the disease after she cared for a priest infected with the disease.

The current Ebola outbreak is the worst outbreak on record: It has killed more than 4,000 people, mostly in West Africa’s Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Sources: Reuters, Xinhua, AFP

Related report: Spanish nurse first to be infected with Ebola outside of Africa

 

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