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Hospital staffers at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas could be in danger of contracting the Ebola virus.

About 70 staffers were involved in the care of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, including a nurse now being treated for the same Ebola virus that killed Duncan.

The medical team’s task in treating Duncan included drawing his blood, putting tubes down his throat, and wiping up his diarrhea. Even after losing consciousness, hospital staffers analyzed his urine and wiped saliva from his lips.

The CDC has been monitoring 48 people who might have had close contact with Duncan. The number included 10 people known to have contact and 38 who may have had contact, including people he was staying with and health care professionals who assisted him during a hospital visit.

Dr. Tom Frieden of the CDC said in a statement:

“If this one individual was infected — and we don’t know how — within the isolation unit, then it is possible that other individuals could have been infected as well. We do not today have a number of such exposed people or potentially exposed health care workers. It’s a relatively large number, we think in the end.”

Nurses and doctors are to follow proper protocol – a “self-monitoring regimen” in which they are instructed to take their temperatures regularly and report any symptoms. Medical records show that staffers wore face shields, double gowns, protective footwear, and even hazmat suits to avoid touching any of Duncan’s bodily fluids.

It is unclear how many of the approximately 70 individuals involved in Duncan’s care had direct contact with his body or fluids.


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