HOUSTON, Texas — Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins (D) said that health officials are “not going to put protective orders on 75 healthcare workers” who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, even though two of his healthcare providers have already contracted the deadly virus. Jenkins’ statement comes just days after the Centers for Disease Control and prevention admitted that health officials must “rethink” Ebola, and how to stop the spreading of the illness.
Jenkins said that instead of protective orders for health care workers who came in contact with Duncan, these individuals will continue to “self monitor” for signs of Ebola. Duncan, a Liberian man, brought Ebola into the United States and died as a result of the virus.
Despite two hospital employees testing positive for the virus, Jenkins continued to insist that “our system right now is working.” At a press conference on Tuesday morning the judge said, “If [any of the workers] gets a slight headache…if they have any symptom they immediately go to isolation in the hospital and they are tested.”
The judge repeatedly stressed that “you don’t contract the disease from being around asymptomatic people.”
Dr. Daniel Varga from Texas Presbyterian also spoke at the press conference, saying that the newest Ebola diagnosis marks an “unprecedented crisis.”
“We’re looking at every element of personal equipment and infection control,” Varga said.
On Tuesday morning it was announced that a second health care worker at Texas Presbyterian had contracted the deadly virus. The newest patient lived alone and with no pets, according to Varga.
The new Ebola patient, whose identity has not been released, will be joining nurse Nina Pham in isolation at Texas Presbyterian. Pham also contracted Ebola while caring for Duncan.
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