Dallas, Texas—A health-care worker who cared for the Ebola patient who died last week in Dallas has preliminarily tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, Texas health officials said early Sunday, in what is likely to have been the first known transmission in the U.S.
A preliminary test shows a Texas health worker who treated Ebola victim Thomas Duncan before he died is also infected with the virus, US officials say. The health worker has not been named.
“We knew a second case could be a reality, and we’ve been preparing for this possibility,” said Dr David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services.
The arrival of the deadly Ebola virus in Texas prompted the US officials to proceed with a strict screening of passengers from affected countries at airports, starting on Saturday at New York’s JFK.
Passengers from those countries will have their temperatures tested and have to answer a series of questions.
The department of Health said officials have interviewed the health-care worker to identify contacts or potential exposures for possible virus exposures. People who had contact with the health-care worker after the symptoms emerged will be strictly monitored according to the nature of their interactions and the potential they were exposed to the virus.
According to media report, there are more tests on the US health care worker are being carried out at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. If Ebola is confirmed, it would be the first time the infection is known to have spread within the US.