Medical experts need to rethink how highly infectious diseases are handled in the United States, a U.S. health official said on Monday, after a Dallas nurse contracted Ebola despite wearing protective gear while caring for a dying Liberian patient.
As an outbreak of the deadly virus spread beyond West Africa, hospitals and nursing associations across the United States were taking a closer look at how prepared they were to handle such infections.
"We have to rethink the way we address Ebola infection control. Even a single infection is unacceptable," Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters. "The care of Ebola is hard. We're working to make it safer and easier."
Frieden said health authorities are still investigating how the nurse became infected while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan in an isolation ward at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
Duncan died last week and the nurse is the first person to contract the virus on U.S. soil, taking concerns about containing its spread to new heights.