Officials admit failures as a SECOND health care worker in Dallas tests positive for Ebola

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Second Texas Health Care Worker Tests Positive for Ebola

By RYAN GORMAN

A second health care worker in Dallas has tested positive for Ebola, authorities announced, and almost 80 hospital employees are now under observation.

The latest Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital employee to be diagnosed is a female who lives alone and has no pets, Judge Clay Jenkins said during a Wednesday morning press conference. Dozens of additional health workers are now considered to be at some level of risk.

Her family has identified the woman to ABC News as Amber Vinson.

"At the hospital, we have a situation involving 77 people, two of which have tested for Ebola," Jenkins said.

The newest diagnosed person was part of the team taking care of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian national who was diagnosed with and died from the disease in Dallas. But officials refuted claims from nurses saying proper precautions were not being taken to protect hospital employees.

"They did have proper protective gear," Dr. Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer of Texas Health Resources, said shortly after calling the ordeal an "unprecedented crisis."

Varga added: "We are a hospital that may have done some things differently with the benefit of what we know today ... I don't think we have a systematic, institutional problem."

The Dallas hospital has taken care of one Ebola patient and two employees became ill. A Nebraska hospital that has cared for five Ebola patients has not seen a single health care worker become ill.

Vinson joins Nina Pham, a 26-year-old nurse whose condition is improving, officials said Tuesday, as the only two patients to contract the disease in the U.S.

She was admitted Tuesday and placed into isolation 90 minutes after self-reporting a fever and other associated symptoms, said Jenkins. Potential contacts are already being identified.

"Health officials have interviewed the latest patient to quickly identify any contacts or potential exposures, and those people will be monitored," authorities said in a statement. "The type of monitoring depends on the nature of their interactions and the potential they were exposed to the virus."

Authorities admitted contingencies are being put into place for additional Ebola patients.

"You can imagine the anxiety of the families of these 77 people," Jenkins lamented.

A cleaning team similar to the one that cleaned the apartments of both Pham and Duncan's family was dispatched to sterilize Vinson's home, sources previously told the Dallas Morning News.

The diagnosis comes as CDC director Thomas Frieden admitted more precautions could have been taken to protect healthcare workers caring for Ebola patients.

The agency should have had "a more robust hospital infection control team" on the ground immediately after Duncan's diagnosis, Frieden said in a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

"I wish we had put a team like this on the ground the day the patient - the first patient - was diagnosed," he said. "We will do that from today onward with any case anywhere in the U.S."

Such a team was dispatched to Dallas this week, the agency previously announced, and will be deployed anywhere that Ebola is found.

"For any hospital anywhere in the country that has a confirmed case of Ebola, we will put a team on the ground within hours [with] some of the world's leading experts on how to take care of and protect health care workers from Ebola infection," said Frieden.

"I think we could, in retrospect, with 20-20 hindsight - we could have sent a more robust hospital infection control team and been more hands-on with the hospital from Day One about exactly how this should be managed," he admitted.

"Ebola is unfamiliar. It's scary, and getting it right is really, really important, because the stakes are so high."

Texas Health Resources Presbyterian Hospital has only three isolation rooms. When asked what the plan was should there be more Ebola diagnoses, Jenkins mentioned an afternoon conference call between state and federal officials but did not have a coherent answer.

There does appear to be light at the end of the tunnel. None of the 48 people under observation after coming into contact with Duncan have shown symptoms of the deadly disease. Their observation period expires on Sunday.

Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings added: "It may get worse before it gets better, but it will get better."
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Officials admit failures as a SECOND health care worker in Dallas tests positive for Ebola
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 15: Emergency vehicles escort an ambulance on the tarmac at Love Field Airport October 15, 2014. The ambulance had reportedly delivered Amber Vinson, a health care worker, to an air ambulance. According to reports, Vinson, had contracted the Ebola virus and had taken a commercial Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland, Ohio to Dallas, Texas, a day before become symptomatic. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
Amber Joy Vinson, 2nd Dallas nurse with Ebola, traveled to Ohio to visit family, plan wedding http://t.co/AfQQEcnh4h http://t.co/YP5oI0j9Iv
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 17: Paige Victoria, 23, of Cleveland, Ohio, and Jeff Hulbert of Annapolis, Maryland, (obscured in back) hold up signs in front of the White House on October 17, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Hulbert is protesting the entry of Ebola into the country through air travel. 'There should be a temporary travel ban on visitors from infected regions until medical infrastructure can get up to speed,' said Hulbert. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
Jeff Hulbert from Annapolis, Maryland, dressed in a protective suit and mask holds a poster demanding for a halt of all flights from West Africa,as he protests outside the White House in Washington, DC on October 16, 2014. Top US health officials faced a grilling Thursday by lawmakers infuriated over the nation's fumbling response to the Ebola outbreak, as the Obama administration scrambles to contain the disease's spread. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) director Thomas Frieden has become the most prominent target of the criticism, which has mounted as it emerged that a second Texas health care worker infected with the deadly disease was allowed to board a commercial flight despite reporting a low-grade fever. AFP PHOTO/MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Twilette Miller, a nurse arriving from Dayton, Ohio, and concerned about Ebola reports, wears a precautionary surgical mask at Dulles International Airport October 16, 2014, in Sterling, Virginia, outside Washington, DC. Some schools in Ohio and Texas closed Thursday amid fears that students or staff had been exposed to a nurse who had Ebola infection during an airline flight. The US Centers for Disease Control has reached out to 132 people who were on the same October 13 flight as Amber Vinson, but said there was an extremely low risk that anyone was infected. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 15: An air ambulance carrying Amber Vinson takes off from Love Field Airport October 15, 2014. According to reports, Vinson, a healthcare worker, had contracted the Ebola virus and had taken a commercial Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland, Ohio to Dallas, Texas, a day before become symptomatic. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 16: White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest takes questions from the media during his daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room, October 16, 2014 in Washington, DC. Secretary Earnest spoke about the two health care workers who were infected with the Ebola virus in Texas. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
This 2010 photo provided by tcu360.com, the yearbook of Texas Christian University, shows Nina Pham, 26, who became the first person to contract the disease within the United States. Records show that Pham and other health care workers wore protective gear, including gowns, gloves, masks and face shields and sometimes full-body suits when caring for Thomas Eric Duncan. (AP Photo/Courtesy of tcu360.com)

Nina Pham (Instagram)

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A man dressed in protective hazmat clothing walks towards an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
Twilette Miller, a nurse arriving from Dayton, Ohio, and concerned about Ebola reports, wears a precautionary surgical mask at Dulles International Airport October 16, 2014, in Sterling, Virginia, outside Washington, DC. Some schools in Ohio and Texas closed Thursday amid fears that students or staff had been exposed to a nurse who had Ebola infection during an airline flight. The US Centers for Disease Control has reached out to 132 people who were on the same October 13 flight as Amber Vinson, but said there was an extremely low risk that anyone was infected. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Passengers at Frontier gate at Hopkins now wearing masks http://t.co/kBn0hhZhQZ
This is Amber Vinson, the #ebola patient that flew from #CLE to #Texas after visiting #Akron http://t.co/wBoZM9Hvr1 http://t.co/RGSvcA6l3Q
Family confirms, #Dallas nurse Nina Pham is 2nd patient with #Ebola... #PrayersforNina http://t.co/dTXi5SPZVW http://t.co/u4slPTn6US
#NinaPham identified as Dallas nurse with #Ebola http://t.co/3p3AFlxp42 http://t.co/L4Ho8zSHuM
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Workers with hazmat company CG Environmental Cleaning Guys prepare a tarp to block the view of media as they prepare to enter an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A man dressed in protective hazmat clothing leaves after treating the front porch and sidewalk of an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: No trespassing signs and warning tape mark the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Dallas police setup a barrier after a hazmat vehicle entered the alley behind the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A man dressed in protective hazmat clothing walks towards an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A Dallas police officer sets up a barrier after a hazmat vehicle entered the alley behind the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A man dressed in protective hazmat clothing treats the front porch of an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Two workers with hazmat company CG Environmental Cleaning Guys stand in the alley behind an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A man dressed in protective hazmat clothing treats the sidewalk in front of an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A worker with hazmat company CG Environmental Cleaning Guys hangs a tarp blocking view of the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Brad Smith with the hazmat company CG Environmental Cleaning Guys talks with the media outside of an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: G.C. Williford, Battalion Chief for the Dallas Fire Department, talks with fire department personell outside an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Police officers stand near a barrel containing waste material (L) that was removed from the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Police officers stand outside an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Brad Smith with the hazmat company CG Environmental Cleaning Guys talks with the media outside of an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A Dallas police officer responds to media questions as hazmat company CG Environmental Cleaning Guys begins setup at the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Brad Smith (C) with hazmat company CG Environmental Cleaning Guys directs an employee outside of the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Volunteers pass out flyers for the Dallas County Health and Human Services department near an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A barrel containing waste material that was removed from the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides sits on the lawn on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: G.C. Williford, Battalion Chief for the Dallas Fire Department, enters an apartment where a second person has been diagnosed with the Ebola virus on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A barrel containing waste material that was removed from the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides stis on the lawn on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A woman passes out flyers for the Dallas County Health and Human Services department near an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Volunteers pass out flyers for the Dallas County Health and Human Services department near an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A barrel labeled with biohazardous waste sits in front of an apartment where a second person has diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
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More on the Ebola outbreak:
Dallas nurses cite sloppy conditions in Ebola care
CDC: Rapid response team for any new Ebola cases
Nurse infected with Ebola says she's 'doing well'

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