The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that a patient admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas has tested positive for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). The hospital is following suggested CDC and Texas Department of Health recommendations to protect the safety of patients, hospital staff, volunteers, physicians and visitors.
We are working closely with representatives from the CDC, Texas Department of Health, Dallas County Health Department and the United States Department of Health and Human Services on coordinated responses and we are taking every step possible to manage this situation.
Texas Health Dallas has a robust infection-control system and our staff is trained and prepared to take care of patients with a variety of infectious diseases, including EVD. An Epidemiologic Emergency policy is in place at the hospital, and Infection Prevention and Emergency Management are working closely together to stay abreast of ongoing developments. The hospital is operating as normal, with clinicians caring for patients and other hospital employees supporting those caregivers as they do every day.
The patient originally presented at the hospital after 10 p.m. on Thursday, September 25. At that time, the patient presented with low-grade fever and abdominal pain. His condition did not warrant admission. He also was not exhibiting symptoms specific to Ebola. The patient returned via ambulance on Sunday, September 28 at which time EMS had already identified potential need for isolation. The hospital followed all suggested CDC protocols at that time.
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas staff members are thoroughly trained in infection control procedures and protocols.
The CDC sent 10 experts to Dallas last night and today. These include: Three senior scientists with expertise in public health investigations and infection control, a communications officer, five Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officers – CDC’s disease detectives and a public health advisor.
These CDC experts will assist state and local health departments find, assess, and assist everyone who came into contact with the Ebola patient between the time he became symptomatic (before having symptoms, people with Ebola cannot spread the infection) and the time he was placed in an isolation ward. The CDC experts will help ensure that proper infection control procedures are followed, and monitor healthcare workers treating or attending to the patient. Long experience shows that these tried-and-true core public health interventions stop the spread of Ebola
“We are stopping Ebola in its tracks in this country,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We can do that because of two things: strong infection control that stops the spread of Ebola in health care; and strong core public health functions to trace contacts, track contacts, isolate them if they have any symptoms and stop the chain of transmission. I am certain we will control this.”