Latest Updates / CDC: Other Ebola Infections Possible Among Texas Health Workers

Spain's Ebola patient shows marginal signs of recovery; Texas health care worker tests positive for Ebola; Israel steps up Ebola border screenings.

Reuters

Click here for Saturday's updates on the Ebola outbreak

Latest updates:

11:39 P.M. A medical clinic outside of Boston was quarantined and a patient has been isolated outside the hospital with a possible case of Ebola, the Boston Globe reported on Sunday.

Police, fire officials and emergency medical services have arrived at the Harvard Vanguard Medical Center in Braintree, Massachusetts, Joe Zanca, with the Braintree Fire Department, told the Globe.

"Ebola protocol is in place," Zanca said, noting that the patient in isolation recently traveled to West Africa. (Reuters)  

11:15 P.M. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Sunday its test confirmed that a health care worker in Texas has tested positive for the Ebola virus.

The worker, who has not been identified, contracted Ebola after treating a Liberian who died of the disease at a Dallas hospital last week. The test confirms results of a lab in Austin, which said the worker had been infected. (Reuters)

7:00 P.M. It is possible that other healthcare workers who came into contact with an Ebola patient in Texas could be at risk of contracting the disease, a U.S. health official said on Sunday after one medical worker was confirmed to have been infected.

"If this individual was exposed, which they were, it is possible that other individuals were exposed," Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Infection, told a news conference. (Reuters)

5:41 P.M. Spain's Ebola patient showed some marginal signs of recovery Sunday but European infectious diseases experts found shortcomings that need fixing in the Madrid hospital designated to deal with Ebola cases, officials said Sunday.

Assistant nurse Teresa Romero, who was infected with the Ebola in a Madrid hospital after having contact with two Spanish missionaries who later died from the virus, is showing signs of "slight improvement," a government statement said.

But the statement also said that Romero's prognosis remains serious and further complications can't be ruled out.

The statement added that a committee from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control who visited Madrid's Carlos III hospital concluded that it wasn't suitable to meet emergencies such as an Ebola outbreak. (AP)

4:31 P.M. Texas health care worker who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for an Ebola patient who later died has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. If the preliminary diagnosis is confirmed, it would be the first known case of the disease being contracted or transmitted in the U.S.

Dr. Daniel Varga, of the Texas Health Resources, said during a news conference Sunday that the worker wore a gown, gloves, mask and shield when they provided care to Thomas Eric Duncan during his second visit to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Varga did not identify the worker and says the family of the worker has "requested total privacy."

Varga says the health care worker reported a fever Friday night as part of a self-monitoring regimen required by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He said another person also remains in isolation, and the hospital has stopped accepting new emergency room patients.

Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., died Wednesday in Dallas. (AP)

3:49 P.M. Israel steps up Ebola screening: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed border-control officials to question all travelers arriving in Israel from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, three of the African countries hardest hit by the deadly illness.

Meanwhile, Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials met Saturday to coordinate their strategy for handling the Ebola crisis. Click here to read more (Barak Ravid and Ido Efrati) 

1:50 P.M. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta are conducting confirmatory testing after a health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital tested positive for Ebola, the Texas Health Department confirms.

The health care worker, who is believed to have contracted the virus after treating a Liberian Ebola patient who died after being hospitalized in Texas, reported a low-grade fever on Friday. The preliminary test result was received late Saturday. (DPA)

1:14 P.M. Liberian officials are pleading with nurses and physician assistants to show up to work Monday amid a dispute over hazard pay that has prompted calls for a strike in the middle of the Ebola epidemic.

Assistant health minister Tolbert Nyenswah said Sunday the proposed strike would have "very negative consequences" for the fight against Ebola, which is believed to have killed more than 2,300 people in Liberia and more than 4,000 overall.

George Williams, leader of the National Health Workers Association, said members are demanding $700 per month in hazard pay on top of monthly salaries that are generally around $200 or $300. Monthly hazard pay is currently less than $500.

The health ministry says about 1,000 members of the association are working in treatment units across the country. (AP)

12:52 P.M. A health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for an Ebola patient there has tested positive for Ebola in a preliminary test, the Texas Department of State Health Services said in a statement on Sunday.

The health care worker reported a low-grade fever Friday night and was isolated and referred for testing, it said.

"We knew a second case could be a reality, and we've been preparing for this possibility," said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the health service. (Reuters) 

Saturday's updates:

10:41 P.M. The head of the African Development Bank expressed concern on Saturday that some donors responding to the Ebola crisis were repackaging aid money, funneling it away from other areas in need in the three countries at the center for the epidemic.

In an interview, Donald Kaberuka said moving funds from already allocated development projects in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone was unhelpful in the long term and make their rebuilding harder.

"I have told donors that I hope what they are announcing is additional resources because if it isn't ...once (Ebola) is gone we will have no resources to build health care systems and continue reconstruction," Kaberuka told Reuters on the sidelines of meetings in Washington of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. (Reuters)

7:36 P.M. New Jersey health officials have ordered into mandatory quarantine an NBC News crew that worked with an American cameraman who contracted Ebola in Liberia, though the group has no symptoms, its health department said on Saturday.

Freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo is receiving treatment at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, which said on Friday that he had shown modest improvement and was in stable condition. (Reuters)

6:04 P.M. Macedonia on Saturday ruled out the Ebola virus as the cause of death of a British man in the Balkan country on Thursday.

Authorities sealed off the hotel where the Briton had been staying and put 35 people in isolation when he died. (Reuters)

2:25 P.M. Three more people are under observation in a Madrid hospital, boosting the number currently being monitored for Ebola symptoms to 16. A nursing assistant infected with the virus, Teresa Romero, remains stable.

The three are a nurse who treated Romero, a hairdresser who served her and a hospital cleaner were admitted to Madrid's Carlos III hospital Friday. A government statement on Saturday said none of the 16 in quarantine — including Romero's husband, five doctors and five nurses — have shown any symptoms. (AP)