Second Texas Health Worker Tests Positive for Ebola as Official Tries to Calm Fears (Update)

Oct 15, 2014

Update: The Texas Department of State Health Services this morning confirmed a second health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has tested positive for Ebola. The worker reported a fever on Tuesday and DSHS says he or she was immediately isolated at the hospital.

No information about the health care worker's identity is being released at this time but, like the first health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital to be diagnosed with Ebola, this person took care of Thomas Eric Duncan – the first Ebola patient to die in the U.S. of the virus.

DSHS officials say they've already reached out to people who made have had contact with this second health worker. Those people will be monitored for potential symptoms.

The second diagnosis of a Texas health care worker comes a day after DSHS Chief David Lakey made statements in an effort to calm fears among health workers about the possible spread of Ebola.

Original Story (Oct. 14, 7:38 p.m.): The chief of the Texas Department of State Health Services says the team in Dallas is committed to containing the Ebola virus, and he says he understands the high level of anxiety among health care workers.

Dr. David Lakey, the commissioner of the Department of State Health Services, says no additional cases of Ebola have been detected and he wants people to know that federal, state and local officials are working together.

"And doing everything we can do to make sure no other individuals are exposed here in the state of Texas," he says.

So far, the critical period has passed for the 48 people who might’ve had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian victim who carried the disease to Texas.

Officials are also monitoring the one person who had contact with Nina Pham, a nurse who became infected while treating Duncan, as well as nearly 80 hospital workers in Dallas who may have had contact with Duncan or his blood. Lakey says anyone with symptoms will be isolated and likely tested for Ebola.