A nurse in Texas, who was looking after Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died of Ebola last week, has tested positive for the deadly disease, sending shudders down the spine of many while also raising fears about the adequacy of procedures put in place to protect healthcare workers.
Duncan, who started showing symptoms of this highly contagious disease after arriving in the US from Liberia after a few days, died a few days later in Texas. Authorities are blaming an inadvertent breach of protocol for the infection and admit there could be more cases in coming days.
The female nurse was involved in the treatment of the Liberian man Thomas Duncan, but had been considered low risk since she was wearing full protective gear.
In another incident, a person who had recently returned from a West African country, arrived at The Ottawa Hospital’s General campus with Ebola like symptoms on Sunday. He was placed under isolation immediately, Ottawa Public Health confirmed to CBC News on Monday.
The patient had recently visited a West African country where Ebola has been reported. Samples from the patient have been sent to the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg for testing, and results are expected by 6 p.m. ET Monday.
The patient is “doing well” and under observation, the hospital said in a news release. The hospital received a call before the patient arrived to allow staff to prepare for the arrival, and special steps are being taken at the hospital to protect staff and other patients. The person’s age and gender are not being released to protect their privacy, the hospital said.
“All necessary precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of other patients, visitors and hospital staff,” said Dr. Jonathan Angel, an infectious disease specialist at the hospital, in a news release. “Strict infection prevention and control measures in Ontario hospitals means the risk of Ebola to other patients and health-care workers is minimal.”