US confirms health worker testing positive for Ebola

Washington, Oct 13 (IANS) A healthcare worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the first Ebola patient in the US has tested positive for the deadly virus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed Sunday.

"The hospital and patient were notified of the preliminary and confirmatory test results," Xinhua quoted the CDC as saying in a statement. "Treatment decisions will be made by the patient and hospital."

Earlier, a preliminary test result conducted Saturday at the Texas Department of State Health Services' laboratory in Austin showed that the worker who reported a low-grade fever overnight Friday contracted the virus.

Earlier, the CDC said a "breach in protocol" caused the healthcare worker to preliminarily test positive for Ebola after treating the first patient with the deadly virus in the US.

The healthcare worker, reportedly a female nurse at Texas Presbyterian Hospital, is the first known person-to-person transmission case of Ebola in the US.

"We are deeply concerned," Xinhua quoted CDC director Tom Frieden as telling in a press conference Sunday.

Frieden said the nurse had "extensive contact" on "multiple occasions" with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola on US soil, who died earlier this week.

"We don't know what occurred in the care of the index patient -- the original patient in Dallas," said Frieden. "But at some point there was a breach in protocol, and that breach in protocol resulted in this infection."

According to the CDC, the health care worker reported a low grade fever and was referred for testing Friday. A preliminary test result done at a state public health laboratory in Austin Saturday showed that the worker contracted the virus.

Duncan, the 42-year-old Liberian, arrived in Dallas Sep 20 and fell ill several days later. He had already been showing symptoms during his first visit to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Sep 25. But the hospital did not weigh his case until his second visit Sep 28.

Duncan was diagnosed to be the first Ebola patient on US soil Sep 30. He died Wednesday.


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