On Sunday, health officials announced that a nurse who had treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola-infected Liberian, has the virus and is in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, the same hospital where Duncan died. This news exposes the falsehood behind the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s repeated assurances for months that “U.S. hospitals can safely manage patients with Ebola.” That’s a whopper.
Dr. Dan Varga, the Dallas hospital’s chief medical officer, confirmed that the nurse became infected, despite wearing CDC prescribed protective gear, including waterproof gown, gloves, goggles, and a plastic face shield when caring for Duncan. Eighteen other hospital staff are being watched for symptoms.
No wonder. Treating Ebola patients is a deadly job. More than 233 doctors and nurses have caught Ebola and died in Africa this year. Many had limited equipment and training, but the fatalities also include renowned epidemiologist John Taban Dada, medical director of the two largest hospitals in Liberia, U.N. doctors, and two healthcare workers from the highly trained Doctors Without Borders teams.