Ebola has been diagnosed in a third victim in Texas, and it’s another health care worker who cared for now-deceased patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, health officials confirmed Wednesday, according to CNN.
The worker, identified as Amber Vinson by Reuters, reported having a fever on Tuesday and was promptly isolated. A state public health laboratory in Austin did a preliminary test for the virus late Tuesday, and those results came back positive. A second test is scheduled to be done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, according to CNN.
“Health officials have interviewed the latest patient to quickly identify any contacts or potential exposures, and those people will be monitored,” the health department added.
Vinson reportedly took a flight to Ohio to prepare for her wedding the day before her symptoms manifested, according to CDC officials. They are now hoping to interview all 132 passengers on the Frontier Airlines flight she took from Cleveland to Dallas.
"Because of the proximity in time between the evening flight and first report of illness the following morning, CDC is reaching out to passengers who flew on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth Oct. 13," the CDC said in a statement.
However, experts say, the deadly virus is not contagious until symptoms begin to show.
As CNN notes, this latest outbreak is the second time that the virus, which has killed more than 4,000 in West Africa, has been transmitted within the United States, with both transmissions coming out of the Texas hospital.
Last week one hospital nurse, Nina Pham, tested positive. Pham also had close contact with Duncan, who died last week from the virus. Pham, for her part, is in positive spirits and says she’s doing well. “I am blessed by the support of family and friends and am blessed to be cared for by the best team of doctors and nurses in the world,” she said.
CNN reports that on Tuesday the National Nurses United made some damning allegations about Texas Health Presbyterian, accusing the hospital of “constantly changing” guidelines and saying that “there were no protocols” for how to deal with Ebola.
“The protocols that should have been in place in Dallas were not in place, and […] those protocols are not in place anywhere in the United States as far as we can tell," NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro said, according to CNN. "We're deeply alarmed."
Nurses were allegedly left feeling unsupported and unprepared, with no formal hands-on training, and were often told to compensate for equipment that left their necks bare by wrapping themselves with medical tape, CNN notes.
The CDC is now launching a response team for the virus so that whenever a case is confirmed, it “will put a team on the ground within hours,” Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, confirmed.
Read more at CNN.