US health officials have blamed a ‘breach of protocol’ for a nurse becoming infected with the Ebola virus at a Texas hospital.
It is unknown as to how the professional lapse in the guidelines designed to stop the spread of the virus may have occurred but it has raised concerns that other health workers may also be infected.
Dr. Tom Frieden who is Director of Centers for Disease Control (CDC) made the following warning:
“Unfortunately, it is possible in the coming days that we will see additional cases of Ebola. This is because the health care workers who cared for this individual may have had a breach of the same nature.”
The new case is a nurse who had been treating victim Thomas Duncan who died of the disease last week. Duncan had caught the virus in his native Liberia before flying to the US.
The nurse is now on an isolation ward and in a stable condition. None of the 48 other people who may have had contact with Duncan and who are currently under observation have shown any Ebola symptoms.
President Obama was informed of the development. The nurse is the first person to contract the virus in the United States.
In Spain, a similar transmission of the virus is being investigated. The nurse there who contracted Ebola after caring for two infected priests repatriated to Spain remains seriously ill but has shown signes of improvement. But once again it is unclear how the breach in barrier nursing may have happened.
More than 4,000 people have so far died from the current Ebola outbreak – most of them in the West African countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.