Health Crisis

Dallas' Ebola problem keeps spreading: Another new infected worker discovered — and she's been flying

Dallas' Ebola problem keeps spreading: New infected patient discovered

A second health care worker has tested positive for Ebola, the Texas Department of State Health Services revealed Wednesday. The unidentified employee at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital was part of the team of people who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan.

She also flew on a plane the night before she detected symptoms. According to the Associated Press, the infected worker was on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas-Fort Worth on Oct. 13. The crew said that she showed no symptoms, but the 132 passengers who were on that flight have been notified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, died Oct. 8. Four days later, 26-year-old nurse Nina Pham tested positive for the virus. She received a blood transfusion from Dr. Kent Brantly, an Ebola survivor, and is now listed in good condition.

The latest patient reported a fever and was immediately placed in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian.

The identity of the second health care worker diagnosed on Wednesday has not been released. Officials say that she reported a fever on Tuesday and was immediately placed in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian.

"Health officials have interviewed the latest patient to quickly identify any contacts or potential exposures, and those people will be monitored," a statement from Texas Department of State Health Services reads. "The type of monitoring depends on the nature of their interactions and the potential they were exposed to the virus."

Dallas city officials quickly converged on the scene of the patient's apartment in The Village at 5454 Amesbury Dr. Police officers and Mayor Mike Rawlings conducted notifications within a four-block radius, and the Dallas Fire Rescue Hazmat team worked to decontaminate the area. A state contractor will be used to decontaminate the patient's apartment.

The infection of health care workers has sparked increased concern about Ebola's spread. Both of the latest patients contracted the disease despite wearing gloves, face shield and a protective gown.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. Photo courtesy of Texas Health Presbyterian