AUSTIN, Texas — A northeast Dallas neighborhood is on edge after it was revealed that one of its residents was Texas’ second Ebola case. As Breitbart Texas reported previously, the new Ebola case is the first to be transmitted within the United States, and the patient diagnosed was a health care worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital who had treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient who died earlier this month. Authorities have not released the worker’s name, but multiple media outlets are reporting that she is a female nurse at the hospital. The nurse was wearing protective gear — including mask, gloves, gowns, and a shield — while treating Duncan, giving rise to new anxieties about the contagiousness of this deadly disease among her neighbors.
The head of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Tom Frieden, blamed “a clear breach of safety protocol,” possibly referring to how protective gear was removed or disposed of, for the transmission of the disease. Frieden was confident in the CDC’s ability to contain the disease, even though he admitted the CDC believed more cases were possible. Kara Lutley, 25, who lives about a block from the nurse’s apartment complex, shared her concerns with the Dallas Morning News that the woman contracted Ebola despite wearing protective gear. “It’s scary to think someone who was protected could catch this,” said Lutley, adding that it was “scary” and “creepy” that the disease had presented itself so close by.
The Daily Mail reports that the nurse’s home has been sealed off, and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told the media that the Dallas Fire Department’s hazardous materials unit had decontaminated the nurse’s car and the outside of her apartment and the shared areas of her complex. Her pet dog, who was inside with her when she fell ill, is being cared for. The dog does not yet show any signs of Ebola, which can be transmitted to mammals as well as humans.
Reverse 911 calls were made to all residents within a four-block radius of the nurse’s apartment complex, but because many people no longer have land-line phones, not everyone received this call. Mayor Rawlings and staffers were going through the neighborhood to knock on doors and distribute flyers, but again, several neighbors told reporters that they had not received this notification, instead getting woken up by news helicopters hovering over their homes and hearing about the Ebola case from television news.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter at @rumpfshaker.