Ebola Update: Only 1 Person Had Contact with Infected Nurse

Oct 14, 2014

Credit: Texas Health Resources

By Bahar Gholipour

Only one person has had contact with the second person to develop Ebola in Texas during the time when she might have been contagious, health officials said today (Oct. 13).

The second person with Ebola in Dallas is a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. She was involved in caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

It is still unclear how the nurse contracted the virus despite wearing protective gear. She is now being treated and is in a stable condition, according to officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health officials have identified one person who had contact with the nurse and are monitoring that person for any signs of the disease. Other people who cared for Duncan will be monitored formally as well, Dr. Tom Frieden, CDC director, said in a news conference today.


 

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22 comments on “Ebola Update: Only 1 Person Had Contact with Infected Nurse

  • How contagious is Ebola? How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

    It is very contagious indeed, and already getting beyond the capabilities of medics and aid workers; every possible measure must be taken to prevent it spreading further.

    And matters are not helped by superstitions about children with the disease being possessed or witches.

    This could well become the pandemic which has been forecast for so long.

    Islamic State? Child’s play! Literally.
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  • quite. how contagious something is depends on a number of environmental factors. and in east africa is like a petri dish, perfect climate, heavily populated, poorly sanitized, poorly educated, superstitious, culturally ideal (families preparing and burying their dead in their own homes gives the virus an unprecidented opportunity for spreading long after the host has passed on).

    then taking the wider picture, you have displaced poeple due to religious wars and uprising. all it needs for that final step to become a truly global threat; anti-vaxxers conspiracy theories, but surely no one from a well educated rich country would stoop to those depths would they…?

    oh, google says yes…
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  • How can you say it’s “very contagious”? It’s not spread through the air. I’m not aware of any virus or disease that reached pandemic status that had to be spread via bodily fluids. Actually, that’s not true, Aids is that way but Aids is quite different because you may have it for a long while and not be aware of it. Ebola is dangerous for sure but I think it’s being blown far out of proportion by a US media that has to have it’s scare of the month. The real danger is that the US no longer invests in the basic infrastructure and training to handle these kinds of diseases. I don’t think it’s at all a coincidence that the first place ANYWHERE where a health worker was supposed to be following containment protocols but got infected anyway was in Texas, one of the most regulation and investment averse states in the union. Texas is a libertarian paradise. It’s the place where they put unregulated fertilizer plants next to schools and then have them blow up. That’s a real example and nothing in the way Texas doesn’t regulate such plants has changed since the explosion literally destroyed a small town there. The danger isn’t Ebola it’s an insane and incompetent US government that can’t even pay it’s debts on time or support the most basic infrastructure and emergency services.
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  • 7
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    Agreed. In fact, there are hints in the news that there is no actual protocol at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital for the handling of patients and the containment of highly dangerous diseases like Ebola. It’s quite possible that the nurse didn’t know how to properly put on and/or remove the protective suit in a manner that prevents any possibility of infection.

    One slight mistake can lead to disaster. For example, the way that the patient’s highly contagious vomit and feces is handled and disposed of. When there is no clear protocol and methodology, mistakes are liable to occur and DO occur.

    So of course, Ebola is as such, no more contagious the flu for example. But the consequences of infection are far far worse. That’s why people make the common mistake of seeing Ebola as “highly contagious”.
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  • @OP – Only one person has had contact with the second person to develop Ebola in Texas during the time when she might have been contagious, health officials said today (Oct. 13).

    It seems this may not be quite correct!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-29632433

    US health officials are seeking 132 people who flew on a plane with a Texas nurse on the day before she came down with symptoms of Ebola.
    The nurse, the second person to catch Ebola in the US, fell ill on Tuesday.

    Both she and nurse Nina Pham, 26, had treated Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan, who died on 8 October, in Dallas.

    The nurse, who has yet to be identified, was not showing symptoms of the disease when she flew, the crew has told CDC investigators.

    Health experts say people who are not showing symptoms are not contagious.

    On the morning of 14 October, the nurse came down with a fever and was isolated within 90 minutes. Her diagnosis was announced early on Wednesday.

    Both the nurse and Ms Pham treated Mr Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas and were exposed to the virus then.
    Meanwhile, the UN’s Ebola mission chief says the world is falling behind in the race to contain the virus, which has killed more than 4,000 in West Africa.

    On Wednesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it wanted to interview the people who flew on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 from Cleveland, Ohio, to Dallas, Texas on 13 October.

    It said it was taking the measure “because of the proximity in time between the evening flight and first report of illness the following morning”.

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  • This article is already dated. A second nurse now has Ebola. She recently took an airplane home to TX from Cleveland/Akron while having a fever.

    Before flying from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday, Vinson called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to report an elevated temperature of 99.5 Fahrenheit and informed the agency that she was getting on a plane, the official said. She wasn’t told not to board the aircraft, the official said.”

    Edit: I see someone already posted this.
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  • Now a second health care worker has contracted it, I believe her name is Amber Joy. This whole thing is just so damn tragic, so many people dieing, so many suffering. Religious folk claim it’s all part of gods plan, what kind of a sick joke that is.
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  • I have heard they figure all it takes is a tiny drop of body fluid to get on you when you take off the suit.

    That suggests a two layer suit, or a cleaning procedure before removing the suit.
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  • I have heard they figure all it takes is a tiny drop of body fluid to get on you when you take off the suit.
    That suggests a two layer suit, or a cleaning procedure before removing the suit.

    The incubation period is 2-21 days – I’ve been hearing up to 42 days. News is stating that the people on the airplane are at a very low risk, yet several nurses from three of the top hospitals in Cleveland are now on manditory paid leave. This is just a precaution, but I can’t help but think what could’ve potentially happened if it was more at risk. The Texas nurse should have never gotten on the plane -especially with a fever. I foresee a few more rights being lost when people cannot monitor themselves.
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  • Hi Damien,

    You’re obviously speaking of the The National Safety Council’s figure of 35,200 deaths in US traffic accidents in 2013, plus the approximate 3.8 million crash injuries requiring medical attention?

    The worst estimate puts the Ebola death toll worldwide at 12,000 so far this year – 1 in the US.

    We really need to get our priorities straight and address the real epidemic.

    Peace.
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  • It seem well managed approaches work!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-29685127

    Nigeria has been declared officially free of Ebola after six weeks with no new cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

    WHO representative Rui Gama Vaz, speaking in the capital Abuja, said it was a “spectacular success story”.

    Nigeria won praise for its swift response after a Liberian diplomat brought the disease there in July.

    The outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa, mostly in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

    An estimated 70% of those infected have died in those countries.

    The WHO officially declared Senegal Ebola-free on Friday.

    Meanwhile, European Union foreign ministers are meeting in Luxembourg to discuss how to strengthen their response to the threat posed by Ebola.

    European countries have committed more than 500m euros (£400m; $600m) but the UK is pressing to double that amount.

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  • It is a feature of human nature, that while expert science and medicine, can provide answers, the ignorant and stupid can undo much of the good work!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-29755443

    The authorities in Mali have confirmed the death of the country’s first Ebola patient, a two-year-old girl.

    The World Health Organisation said the toddler had travelled hundreds of kilometres by bus from Guinea through Mali showing symptoms of the disease.

    More than 40 people known to have come into contact with her have been quarantined.

    The girl was being treated in the western town of Kayes, after arriving at a hospital on Wednesday.

    The child had travelled more than 1,000 km (600 miles) from Guinea through the capital, Bamako, to Kayes.

    “The child’s symptomatic state during the bus journey is especially concerning, as it presented multiple opportunities for exposures, including high-risk exposures, involving many people,” the WHO said.

    The girl’s mother died in Guinea a few weeks ago and the child was then brought by relatives to Mali.

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  • ignorant and stupid

    Considering the specific case you cite, that seems a bit harsh. This isn’t Dr. Snyderman, who went to a public restaurant, despite strong advisement not to (she got flamed for that, btw).

    Rather, we’re talking about everyday folks, with different ideas; i.e., a bereaved mother who wanted to get her granddaughter to relatives in Mali.

    Ebola plush toy is popular again.
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  • bonnie Oct 25, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    ignorant and stupid

    Considering the specific case you cite, that seems a bit harsh. This isn’t Dr. Snyderman, who went to a public restaurant, despite strong advisement not to (she got flamed for that, btw).

    That’s why a bit of harsh martial law needs to be imposed, when the ignorant and stupid want to indulge their sentimentality and cause havoc for everyone else!

    More than 10,000 people have been infected with ebola and people are still stupidly getting on buses and aircraft and carrying the disease into public places!

    17 August 2014 – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-28827091

    There are conflicting reports over the fate of 17 suspected Ebola patients who vanished after a quarantine centre in the Liberian capital was looted.

    Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said protesters had been unhappy that patients were being brought in from other parts of the capital.

    Other reports suggested the protesters had believed Ebola was a hoax and wanted to force the quarantine centre to close.

    The attack at the Monrovia centre is seen as a major setback in the struggle to halt the outbreak, says the BBC’s Will Ross, reporting from Lagos.

    Health experts say that the key to ending the Ebola outbreak is to stop it spreading in Liberia, where ignorance about the virus is high and many people are reluctant to cooperate with medical staff.

    The attackers, mostly young men armed with clubs, shouted insults about President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and yelled “there’s no Ebola”, she said, adding that nurses had also fled the centre.

    The head of the Health Workers Association of Liberia, George Williams, said the unit had housed 29 patients who “had all tested positive for Ebola” and were receiving preliminary treatment.

    Confirming that 17 had escaped, he said that only three had been taken by their relatives, the other nine having died four days earlier.

    Ebola is spread by contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids, such as sweat and blood, and no cure or vaccine is currently available.

    Blood-stained mattresses, bedding and medical equipment were taken from the centre, a senior police officer told BBC News, on condition of anonymity.

    “This is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen in my life,” he said. “All between the houses you could see people fleeing with items looted from the patients.”

    The looting spree, he added, could spread the virus to the whole of the West Point area.

    Described as a slum, there are an estimated 50,000 people in the West Point neighbourhood.

    The Ebola epidemic began in Guinea in February and has since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

    When push comes to shove in a riot, the authorities have to decide if they should shoot some of the stupid to deter others, or let them spread the disease to hundreds or thousands of other people!
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