The News Minute | October 12, 2014 | 11:34pm IST
Washington : A health worker who helped treat Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the US, has tested positive for the disease in a preliminary test, Texas health authorities said Sunday.
The worker, an employee of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas where Duncan was treated, has been isolated since reporting a low-grade fever Friday, Xinhua reported citing the Texas Department of State Health Services.
A preliminary test done at a state public health laboratory in Austin, capital of Texas, late Saturday showed that the worker had contracted the virus, the statement said.
Another test to confirm the diagnosis will be conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
If test results hold, it would be the first case of Ebola contracted in the country.
Earlier, a sheriff's deputy who visited the apartment where Duncan stayed was hospitalised after showing an Ebola-like symptom but later tested negative. The deputy has been discharged from hospital.
Officials are now tracking down those who may have had contact with the health care worker since the person began showing symptoms and have placed them under observation.
Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of an infected person only when he is symptomatic.
The health care worker is among some 50 people who are being monitored for possibly having had contact with Duncan, a Liberian visitor.
Duncan arrived in Dallas Sep 20 and fell ill several days later. He had already been showing symptoms during his first visit to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Sep 25 but the hospital did not weigh his case until his second visit Sep 28.