Last week, Thomas Eric Duncan — a Texas man who contracted Ebola while travelling overseas — died, becoming the first fatality as a result of the virus on US soil. Questions are already being raised about doctors’ handling of Duncan’s case: Duncan first became symptomatic on September 26th when he arrived in the ER of Texas Health Presbyterian with a 103-degree fever, but was inexplicably sent home even after doctors were notified that Duncan had recently returned from Africa. Only upon his second visit to the hospital on September 28th was Duncan diagnosed with Ebola and quarantined for treatment; the circumstances of his treatment significantly enhanced the likelihood of an American outbreak.
In the wake of this failure in proper care, the CDC had placed over 50 people who had come into close contact with Duncan under supervision. Today, the CDC reports that a nurse who worked in critical care at Texas Presbyterian Health has contracted Ebola. Although officials did not identify the nurse, family members have since revealed to media that the nurse is 26-year-old Nina Pham.