Seriously though, please don't panic. The Ebola can smell fear. It knows.
An unnamed Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital health worker treating Thomas Eric Duncan, who succumbed to Ebola last week, has tested positive for the disease in a preliminary test after reporting a low-grade fever Friday night. This appears to be the first case of the disease in the US in someone who had never traveled to West Africa.
As scary as it is, it isn't exactly surprising—the Texas Department of State Health seems to have at least braced itself for a potential second case. Via AP:
"We knew a second case could be a reality, and we've been preparing for this possibility," Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said in a statement Sunday. "We are broadening our team in Dallas and working with extreme diligence to prevent further spread."
The worker, who is currently in stable condition, was in full protective gear when treating Duncan. The worker is in isolation and the hospital is no longer taking new emergency room patients.
Meanwhile John F. Kennedy airport has started screening travelers from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone—other airports (Newark Liberty, Washington Dulles, Chicago O'Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta) are set to begin screening on Thursday.
Oh, and Liberian nurses are currently threatening to go on strike regarding their meager hazard pay. AP reports:
Members of the National Health Workers Association are demanding $700 in monthly hazard pay on top of monthly salaries that are generally around $200 or $300. Monthly hazard pay is currently less than $500.
The association boasts more than 10,000 members, though the health ministry says only about 1,000 of those are employed at sites receiving Ebola patients.
So yeah, just stay calm, and I'm sure this whole thing will blow over. Me? Oh no, I just wear this hazmat suit for, um, fashion. It's my Sunday blogging outfit. Yeah. Very in right now.
Image via AP.