ALERT: Dallas’ Top Health Epidemiologist Now Being Monitored For Ebola
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Dallas County’s top public health epidemiologist confirmed Thursday that she spent time at Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan’s beside and that she is among those potentially exposed to the virus.
Dr. Wendy Chung has remained on the front lines of the government’s response to the outbreak since Duncan’s diagnosis, working alongside federal, state and local health authorities as she undergoes monitoring for any signs of the potentially deadly disease.
“Yes, I have been alongside other physicians and nurses in addressing this patient,” said Chung in an email. “I am under the same monitoring protocols which are currently recommended for my clinical colleagues who are in the same exposure category as mine.”
From Sept. 28-30, staff treating Duncan wore basic personal protective gear consisting of gowns down to the knees, face shields or a mask and latex gloves. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said in a release that once Duncan’s Ebola test came back positive, staff members were issued hazmat suits. But they admitted some were too big and nurses had to pinch and tape the suits for them to fit.
Some of the health care workers being monitored are being furloughed, but others have continued to work, depending on the level of their exposure. None are allowed to use public transit.
The question remains: Why wasn’t every single person who came into contact Duncan at the hospital protected properly?