The individual was exposed to Thomas Duncan, the first man to ever be diagnosed with the illness on American soil.
Duncan passed away last week at the Dallas, Texas hospital where he’d been quarantined for nearly a week.
At some point while working with Duncan, the health care worker became exposed to the virus.
Preliminary results on Saturday showed that the healthcare worker tested positive for Ebola.
There is still more testing to do as the Center of Disease Control is responsible for giving official confirmation.
If the CDC confirms earlier testing, it will represent the first time Ebola has ever been contracted and transmitted in America.
— WSVN-TV (@wsvn) October 12, 2014
The individual was reportedly isolated immediately after they exhibited symptoms, though it’s not yet known how many people they came into contact with.
At present officials are carefully monitoring anyone known to have been in contact with the unnamed medical worker.
They admit that they are not surprised at the reality of someone developing the illness after being in close contact with Duncan.
— AOL.com (@AOL) October 9, 2014
Said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, “We knew a second case could be a reality, and we’ve been preparing for this possibility.”
Lakey also confirmed that the team in Dallas “is being broadened” in an effort to prevent Ebola from spreading any further.
This news will no doubt increase the level of scrutiny being experienced by Texas Health Presbyterian, the hospital where Duncan was first rejected and later readmitted.
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) October 12, 2014
The hospital was accused of negligence and bigotry after Duncan was initially released, despite already displaying symptoms of the Ebola virus.
It was reported following his death that the 42-year-old man’s fever had reached 103 degrees during the visit that saw him sent home.
Did this unfortunate error contribute to a second case? Speculation abounds.
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) October 10, 2014
Much of it is tied to concerns that a failure to quarantine Duncan early on may now have endangered the lives of untold American citizens.
In reality, America has the wealth and resources to deal with the Ebola virus.
As unfortunate as this situation is, Ebola has only killed one individual and one only one other has been confirmed as contracting the illness. Compare this to the thousands currently being devastated by the ongoing pandemic in Africa.