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A member of the CG Environmental HazMat team disinfects the entrance to the residence of a health worker at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who has contracted Ebola in Dallas, Texas, October 12, 2014 (Reuters / Jaime R. Carrero)

A leading US health official sparked controversy after saying it is “deeply disturbing” that a Dallas nurse became infected with Ebola while caring for a patient, arguing that many US hospitals are ill-prepared to handle the virus.

In America’s first test case in dealing with Ebola outside of Africa, the US medical community has not performed as well as expected. A female nurse who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, who arrived in the US last month from Liberia, became the first person to contract the disease inside the United States.

READ MORE: First to contract Ebola in US: CDC confirms Texas health care worker’s diagnosis

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), blamed a break in protocol as the reason for the transmission. 

“The healthcare workers who cared for this individual may have had a breach of the same nature,” Frieden said in a press conference Sunday. “It is certainly very concerning and it tells us there is a need to enhance training and make sure protocols are followed. 

“The protocols work… but we know that even a single lapse or breach can result in infection.” 

The worst Ebola epidemic in history, which has already killed over 4,000 people, broke out in West Africa in March. Since then, medical officials have been sounding the alarm that the disease may spread like wildfire around the planet.

Meanwhile, despite having had “extensive contact … on multiple occasions” with Duncan, who died on October 8 in an isolation unit, the Dallas nurse was reportedly not among the nearly 50 individuals being monitored for the disease, which has a 21-day incubation period. 

“It’s deeply concerning that this infection occurred,” Frieden said. “We can’t let any hospital let its guard down.” 

Read more at RT News

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