In what is likely to create anxiety and fear in health care and beyond, a second health care worker involved in the treatment of Thomas Duncan has tested positive for the disease after developing a fever. The worker, not yet identified, had been among those who took care of Thomas Eric Duncan after he was diagnosed with Ebola.
A statement issued by the Texas Department of Health Services noted that health officials have interviewed the latest patient to quickly identify any contacts or potential exposures, and those people will be monitored. The preliminary Ebola test was run late Tuesday at the state public health laboratory in Austin, and results were received at about midnight. Confirmatory testing on a separate specimen will be conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
The statement came a day after officials in Dallas said they were now monitoring 76 health care workers at Presbyterian Hospital who treated or cared for Mr. Duncan or who might have handled blood specimens from the time he was admitted to the hospital on Sept. 28 to his death last Wednesday.
One nurse at the hospital, Nina Pham, 26, who helped look after Mr. Duncan is already being treated for Ebola.