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Texas Hospital Worker Tests Positive for Ebola

CDC cites possible lapse in infection-control procedures

MONDAY, Oct. 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A health care worker who helped treat the Liberian man who died of Ebola in a Dallas hospital last week has tested positive for the virus, public health officials reported Sunday.

"We don't know what occurred in the care of the original patient in Dallas, but at some point there was a breach in protocol, and that breach in protocol resulted in this infection," Tom Frieden, M.D., director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a Sunday morning news briefing.

The female hospital employee, who has not been identified, was isolated and tested Friday night after reporting a low-grade fever. She was wearing protective clothing and equipment on the multiple occasions that she helped treat Duncan, health officials said. Frieden said Sunday: "When you have potentially soiled or contaminated gloves or masks or other things, to remove those without any risk of any contaminated material touching you and then being on your clothes or face or skin, and leading to an infection, is critically important and not easy to do right."

Officials also will review the performance of kidney dialysis and respiratory intubation on Duncan during the later stages of his illness. "Both of those procedures may spread contaminated materials, and are considered high-risk procedures," Frieden said. "They were undertaken on the index patient [Duncan] as a desperate measure to try to save his life."

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