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UPDATE: 2nd health care worker with Ebola being flown to Atlanta

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Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. AP photo Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. AP photo
UPDATE:  The second health care worker who contracted Ebola at a Dallas hospital after treating an Ebola patient will be flown to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, federal health officials said Wednesday.

The announcement came after authorities disclosed that the health care worker flew from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday, before she began to feel ill. She was placed in isolation after reporting a low-grade fever on Tuesday.

“She should not have traveled on a commercial airline,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters by phone.

Frieden said that the health care worker had had “extensive contact” with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States. He contracted the virus in Liberia and flew to Dallas. He died earlier this month.

The health care worker is the second to test positive for the virus after treating Duncan. Frieden described the worker as ill but clinically stable. Her name was not immediately released.

Emory University Hospital is one of the country's top hospitals equipped to handle at Ebola case. Two other Americans, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, were treated there earlier in the outbreak. They recovered and were later released.
The CDC is asking passengers on the Monday flight to call 1-800-CDC INFO (1-800-232-4636).

UPDATE: The second Texas health care worker diagnosed with Ebola was in isolation in hospital "within 90 minutes" of her temperature being taken, officials said Wednesday.

Authorities in Dallas addressed reporters after a second health care worker tested positive for the virus. She reported a fever on Tuesday after treating the Liberian man who died last week.

A preliminary test turned up positive.

Dr. Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer of Texas Health Resources, told a news conference early Wednesday that 75 health care workers were being monitored.

The latest worker infected lives alone and has no pets. Federal health officials said Tuesday that their response to the original Dallas case could have been more robust.

PREVIOUS STORY: A second Texas health care worker who provided care for Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan has contracted the virus, according to preliminary test results released early Wednesday. 

The worker reported a fever Tuesday and was immediately isolated at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, state health officials said in a statement. Confirmatory testing will be carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. 

"Health officials have interviewed the latest patient to quickly identify any contacts or potential exposures, and those people will be monitored," the Texas Department of State Health Services said. "The type of monitoring depends on the nature of their interactions and the potential they were exposed to the virus." It is the third case diagnosed in the U.S.

The worker was among those who took care of Duncan, who died a week ago after he was diagnosed with Ebola earlier this month. The first Texas Health Presbyterian nurse to become infected, Nina Pham, said in a statement Tuesday that she was "doing well" and grateful for her care. 

The CDC described the latest case involving a health care worker as a "serious concern." In a statement, the CDC added it was "not unexpected that there would be additional exposures." On Tuesday, the CDC's director admitted mistakes were made and said a quicker response might have prevented the virus spreading to hospital workers. 

A union representing nurses also criticized the hospital, saying that protocols to protect workers were not in place when Duncan was diagnosed. "There was no advance preparedness on what to do with the patient, there was no protocol, there was no system," National Nurses United said in a statement. 

Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person or exposure to contaminated objects such as needles. People are not contagious before symptoms such as fever develop.

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