A second healthcare worker at the Dallas hospital where Ebola patient Thomas Duncan was treated has tested positive for the virus, Texas health officials say.
The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed that the worker had tested positive in a statement early Wednesday.
It did not specify what position the worker held at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, though officials did say that the person was among those who provided care for Duncan, who died from the virus Oct. 8.
A 26-year-old nurse was confirmed to have the Ebola virus just days earlier.
Casey Stegall reported (video above) from Dallas this morning, highlighting serious concerns from nurses and health care workers over how the initial response was handled.
Many claim they lacked any proper training and were treating Duncan without enough protective gear.
He reported that 76 people who may have had contact with Duncan at the hospital have been ID’d and are being monitored.
Among the other allegations raised by the nurses are that Duncan’s lab samples were allowed to travel through the hospital’s pneumatic tubes, opening the possibility of contaminating the specimen delivery system. The nurses also alleged that hazardous waste was allowed to pile up to the ceiling.
The statement also claimed that Duncan was initially kept in a non-isolated area of the hospital’s emergency room for several hours before being moved. Patients who were exposed to him were allegedly only kept in isolation for a day before being moved to be with other patients.
In the same vein, the nurses claim that they were made to treat other patients while also treating Duncan, and were offered no more than an optional seminar to deal with changing guidelines.
Bill Hemmer spoke to former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona this morning on “America’s Newsroom” after Texas officials said they are preparing for more Ebola cases.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said at a news conference this morning that it “may get worse before it gets better. But it will get better.”
Hemmer asked Carmona whether he thinks the media is blowing the situation out of proportion.
“I’m very concerned. Because the public is very stressed. They don’t understand how complicated this issue is,” he said, faulting the CDC for failing to deliver information clearly and explain what’s going on.
Carmona said the idea of a travel ban should be reconsidered, but recalled that when he was surgeon general there was a concern that travel restrictions would force people “underground” and make them harder to identify.
Watch the full discussion below:
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