A health care worker at the Texas hospital who was treating the Ebola patient at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, has tested positive for the virus, according to a statement from the Department of State Health Services.
The worker reported a low fever Friday night and was referred for testing at the state public health laboratory in Austin. The preliminary result was released late Saturday.
Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta will perform further tests to confirm the diagnosis.
“We knew a second case could be a reality, and we’ve been preparing for this possibility,” said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, in the statement. “We are broadening our team in Dallas and working with extreme diligence to prevent further spread.”
Officials are identifying the patient’s contacts and will monitor them based on the nature of their interactions with the patient. Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids, and is not contagious before patients show symptoms such as fever.
The worker helped care for Eric Duncan, the 42-year-old who contracted Ebola in Nigeria and flew to Texas on Sept. 20. He first developed symptoms on Sept. 24.
Duncan died at Presbyterian Hospital on Wednesday.