Dallas Hospital Official: No 'Systematic, Institutional Problem'

By Susan Jones | October 15, 2014 | 9:42am EDT

The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

(CNSNews.com) - "I don't think we have a systematic, institutional problem," said Dr. Daniel Varga, the chief clinical officer of Texas Health Resources, which runs the Dallas hospital where two health care workers are now being treated for Ebola.

A second person who treated Thomas Eric Duncan was diagnosed with the disease early Wednesday.

"I think the biggest challenge we have right now is obviously, first and foremost, the care of the two patients that we have and the ongoing screening of folks in the community," Varga told a news conference on Wednesday morning.

"A lot is being said about what may or may not have occured to cause some of our colleagues to contract this disease. But it's clear -- there was an exposure somewhere, sometime in their treatment of Mr. Duncan."

Varga said the hospital is "looking at every element of our personal protective equipment and infection control inside the hospital."

He also said the Dallas hospital personnel would do things differently, knowing what they know today.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told the same news conference that "within 90 minutes" of taking the second health care worker's temperature, she was in a hospital isolation unit.

He said the fight against Ebola in Dallas is continuing on two fronts, and there is some positive news:

Of the 48 people who had contact with the now-deceased Duncan, all are asymptomatic, and Sunday marks the end of their monitoring period. "And the chance of those people becoming symptomatic at this point or getting the Ebola virus is extremely remote," Jenkins said.

"However, at the hospital, we have a situation involving 77 people, two of which have tested positive for Ebola. We are preparing contingencies for more, and that is a very real possibility. You can imagine the anxiety of the families of these 77 people,"  Jenkins said.

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