Earlier today, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced that a second healthcare worker had tested positive for Ebola virus infection. The individual had also worked at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and cared for the first person diagnosed within the US, Thomas Eric Duncan. The fact that two caregivers were infected gives credence to suggestions that the hospital lacked either sufficient procedures to prevent contamination or sufficient training in them. The newly diagnosed individual began experiencing a fever on Tuesday and was immediately brought to the hospital and placed in isolation. Health officials have already identified people that the infected person has been in contact with and will be monitoring them for the next several weeks. Reuters' report on the news indicates that the individual is a nurse, and it quotes Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings as saying the person lived alone, which should limit additional routes of infection. Dallas authorities are already cleaning areas frequented by the patient. The first US-based nurse who was infected has since been identified as Nina Pham. She is listed in good condition by the hospital that's caring for her—the same one she worked in. Update: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now say that the second infected healthcare worker flew to Cleveland and back on a commercial jet after caring for Duncan—and her return flight to Dallas took place the day before her Ebola symptoms appeared. The CDC now wants to interview everyone on that return flight (Frontier Airlines flight 1143, flying from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on October 13). Given the healthcare worker's recent exposure to Duncan, she was "self-monitoring" for any symptoms of Ebola and—according to the CDC—should not have traveled on a commercial airline until the incubation period for the disease had ended. Update 2: Reuters reports that the healthcare worker did in fact have a slight fever while traveling on the airplane back to Dallas. The CDC still believes the risk of viral transmission is low because the woman was neither vomiting nor bleeding on the flight. The healthcare worker is being transported to Emory Hospital in Atlanta for treatment. via Ars Technica.
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