No one as yet knows how the United States' second Ebola patient — the first believed to have contracted the disease on American soil — became infected. We know that the person, a female nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, picked up the disease from recently deceased Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, with whom she had extensive contact. We know she got sick despite wearing protective gear. We know that authorities say there was a breach of protocol, but can’t yet identify what it might have been. Of course, this means other healthcare workers could have contracted the illness in like fashion, but perhaps are not yet exhibiting symptoms.
That can take up to 21 days.
Meanwhile, Centers for Disease Control chief Dr. Tom Frieden said that it is “deeply concerning that this infection occurred.” Some would label this understatement, given how affected individuals can come into contact with numerous others before being isolated. As The Guardian’s Tom Dart wrote, referring to the Dallas nurse:
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