WASHINGTON: The United States must rethink its approach to controlling the Ebola virus after a Texas health care worker was infected with the often deadly virus, health authorities said Monday.
“We have to rethink the way we approach Ebola infection control, because even a single infection is unacceptable,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Tom Frieden.
Frieden spoke to reporters a day after Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas announced one of its staff members had contracted Ebola — marking the first case of infection inside the United States.
However, he gave few specifics about what precisely was going to change.
“What we will be doing in the coming days and weeks is doubling down on the amount of education, training, outreach and support we provide,” Frieden said.
He also said experts still don’t know exactly how the woman was infected while caring for Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of Ebola on Wednesday and was the first person diagnosed with Ebola outside Africa.
Local media WFAA identified the woman as Nina Pham, a 26-year-old who had recently completed the nursing program at Texas Christian University.
She treated Duncan multiple times during his hospital stay and had extensive contact with him, but had worn extra safety gear including a mask, face shield, gown and gloves according to CDC guidelines, officials have said.
Duncan was hospitalized September 28 and died of Ebola on Wednesday.