A second health-care worker in Texas who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan has tested positive for Ebola, according to preliminary results.
In a release Wednesday, Texas Department of State Health Services said the unidentified woman, believed to be a nurse, “reported a fever Tuesday and was immediately isolated at the hospital.”
The test was run late Tuesday at the state public health laboratory in Austin, and results came in around midnight.
“Confirmatory testing” will be conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, the statement read.
According to officials, the worker was put in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian within 90 minutes after she found she had an elevated temperature.
It’s not yet known how she contracted the virus, and officials have not said what type of care she provided for Duncan.
Health officials said anyone who had contact with the woman after symptoms appeared will be monitored. People are not contagious before symptoms develop.
Officials said the health-care worker was on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas-Fort Worth on Monday, the day before she was diagnosed with Ebola.
The flight’s crew said the woman did not show symptoms of Ebola during the flight. However, she developed a fever by Tuesday morning. Officials said the health-care worker was monitoring herself for symptoms.
The CDC is asking the passengers who travelled on the flight to call 1-800-CDC-INFO so they can be monitored.
On Saturday, Nina Pham, 26, a nurse who cared for Duncan tested positive for Ebola. Her condition is being described as stable.
However, questions are being raised over the protocols in place at the hospital where she contracted Ebola. The National Nurses United union claims health-care workers were in contact with Duncan for days without proper protective gear.
Duncan, who died on Oct. 8, was the first person to die of Ebola in the United States. The Liberian national arrived in Dallas on Sept. 20 from Liberia and was admitted to hospital on Sept. 28, where he was kept in isolation.
There have been no cases of Ebola in Canada and officials say the risk of it here is very low.
This week, two patients in Ottawa and Belleville were being isolated and monitored as a precaution because they showed Ebola-like symptoms. Both have tested negative for Ebola.
With files from The Associated Press and Showwei Chu