Texas Health Worker Contracts Ebola, Fueling Training, Preparedness Questions
The case, the first in which the disease was transmitted in the U.S., raises questions about whether regular hospitals around the country are ready to safely deal with the virus.
The Wall Street Journal: Ebola Virus: Texas Health Worker Tests Positive, CDC Confirms
Officials gave few details of how they believe she contracted the virus. CDC Director Tom Frieden called the infection a result of a "breach in protocol" at the hospital and said more cases may emerge. "Unfortunately, it is possible in the coming days that we will see additional cases of Ebola," Dr. Frieden said in a news conference. "This is because the health-care workers who cared for this individual may have had a breach of the same nature." The infection is the first transmitted in the U.S. and the second outside of West Africa, following that of a nurse's aide in Spain who had cared for a missionary repatriated from Sierra Leone. The missionary died. The latest case has prompted a wider search for those possibly exposed (McKay, Bustillo and Beck, 10/13).
The Washington Post: Health Worker Who Treated Dallas Patient Tests Positive For Ebola
The case raises new doubts about whether hospitals around the country, aside from a handful of highly-specialized facilities, are truly prepared to safely deal with the Ebola virus, and whether front-line nurses and doctors have received adequate training in diagnosing and treating the disease. The incident also seems certain to intensify fears about how easily the disease can spread, even though Ebola is transmitted only through bodily fluids and only after a patient begins showing symptoms (Dennis, Phillip and Sun, 10/12).
Los Angeles Times: Ebola Safeguards Are Being Taken, Southland Health Officials Say
So far, there have been no confirmed or suspected Ebola cases in Los Angeles County, and officials say they do not expect a major outbreak. But some on the front lines, alarmed by the death last week of a nurse in Spain who contracted the virus from a patient, are concerned that efforts to prepare healthcare workers aren't going far enough. … Public health authorities in Los Angeles County are rolling out Ebola guidelines based on recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which call for providers to don protective gear — goggles, gloves, masks and gowns — when working with a suspected Ebola patient; to isolate suspected Ebola cases in a room with its own bathroom; and — perhaps most key — to immediately ask patients with symptoms such as vomiting, nausea and fever if they have traveled to West Africa or been in contact with someone who has (Brown, 10/12).
The Washington Post: U.S. Ebola Victim’s Medical Records Reported Contradictory
[At] the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, a special Homeland Security Committee held a field meeting Friday in which Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), chair of the committee, tried to reassure the public. "Blind panic won’t help us stop (Ebola) from spreading," he said, "and fear-mongering will only make it harder to do so. . . . The situation here at home is far different than what is happening in West Africa." Some experts, however, say the United States and other western countries are hardly immune to a potential public health crisis (Ellis Nutt, 10/10).
The Washington Post: Ebola Screening To Begin At Dulles, 3 Other Gateway U.S. Airports Thursday
Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Sunday that enhanced screening of international travelers for Ebola is likely to begin Thursday at Dulles International Airport and three other gateway airports (Halsey III, 10/12).