Ebola Spread: CDC Director say more cases possible
CDC Director Tom Frieden blamed the Dallas Ebola spread on a breach of protocol. He said on Monday that he wouldn’t be surprised if another hospital worker became ill.
“Unfortunately, it is possible in the coming days we will see additional cases of Ebola,” Frieden said in a press conference on Sunday. “This is because the health care workers who cared for this individual may have had a breach of the same nature. He further went on to elaborate, “We have to rethink the way we address Ebola infection control because even a single infection is unacceptable.”
Further reports have suggested that it may be related to how the protective equipment/garments were removed. Experts warn that it is very difficult to take off all the protective gear correctly every time and are warning that healthcare workers treating Ebola cases use the buddy system wherein a 2nd healthcare worker helps remove the other’s equipment and watches for any accidental breaches in protocol.
The identity of the Dallas health care worker who contracted Ebola after treating a patient who later died of the virus has been confirmed.
The family of 26-year-old Nina Pham, a nurse at Dallas’ Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, confirmed the news to WFAA.
The family also confirmed the news to USA Today. Pham is the first known person to contract the virus in the United States.
Pham had been helping to treat Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who was diagnosed with Ebola last month. Duncan was the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. He died last week.
Last week, Texas health officials announced that a hospital worker who treated Duncan had showed symptoms of the virus. They confirmed the diagnosis on Sunday.
According to CNN, Pham was wearing protective gear whenever she had contact with Duncan.
Pham is not one of the 48 people who the CDC had already been monitoring for either direct or indirect contact with Duncan before he was brought to the hospital on Sept. 28. She had been self-monitoring, and upon developing symptoms, came in to the hospital, Frieden said Sunday.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Pham is a 2012 graduate of Texas Christian University. Friends and family describe her as a “big-hearted, compassionate” person dedicated to her nursing career.