Second Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola, Nurses Union Says There Were No Protocols
A second US health worker has been diagnosed with Ebola. The nurse, Amber Vinson, treated Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Presbyterian Hospital. The first health care worker to be diagnosed, Nurse Nina Pham, also treated Duncan at Texas Presbyterian. That at least two health workers have been infected has raised concerns about more cases and whether local hospitals with no Ebola experience can handle patients with the disease given the extrordinary protocols required to safely treat such patients.
Vinson may have infected others outside Texas when she took a flight from Cleveland to Dallas after being infected and a day before her symptoms appeared. She reportedly did not show signs of being ill on the flight. The CDC wants to interview all 132 passengers that were on the October 13th flight with her. Vinson is now in isolation at Texas Presbyterian.
With there now being two infections it appears the CDC may have initially underestimated how much Ebola protocols were broken when Duncan was treated. The National Nurses Union, which is in contact with nurses who worked on the Duncan case, has claimed that there were no real protocols at Texas Presbyterian Hospital when Duncan was admitted.
A national nurses union is decrying an absence of protocols at the Dallas hospital where a man died of Ebola and a nurse was infected while caring for him. Leaders of the National Nurses Union read a statement Tuesday which they said represented concerns from a number of nurses that work at Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas.
The union officials declined to identify the Dallas nurses or say how many were participating in the statement. But they were vociferous in citing a lack of protocols on the day that Thomas Eric Duncan was admitted with extreme symptoms of Ebola.
If protocols were not followed then the 76 people in the hospital that a transmitting Duncan came into contact with could be infected. Two already are. The hope now is that Vinson and Pham remain the only two Duncan infected and that other people they came into contact with were not infected as well.
The CDC is already preparing a rapid response team that can be sent anywhere in the country Ebola is detected. But first it has to get the Texas situation under control.