A second health-care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas who treated Liberian Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan has tested positive for the virus, the Texas Department of State Health Services said early Wednesday. The unidentified worker — one of 76 people exposed to Duncan during his hospitalization in Dallas — reported having a fever on Tuesday and was immediately isolated, a Texas health department spokeswoman said. The CDC will conduct a second test to confirm that he or she has the virus.
"Health officials have interviewed the latest patient to quickly identify any contacts or potential exposures, and those people will be monitored," the department said in a statement. The first nurse infected from treating Duncan, Nina Phan, said in a statement Tuesday that she is "doing well," and doctors are optimistic about her prognosis.
On Tuesday, National Nurses United accused Texas Health Presbyterian of several shifting breaches of protocol in handling Duncan, including leaving him in an open area of the emergency room for hours and not providing nurses proper protective garments for days after Duncan was admitted. Faced with flimsy garments, the nurses "were told to use medical tape and had to use four to five pieces of medical tape wound around their neck," said NNU co-president Deborah Burger. The nurses' union said it gathered the information from "several" and "a few" nurses at the hospital. Duncan died on Oct. 8.