NEW YORK – Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control, said Monday he regretted that media interpreted his comments Sunday as casting blame on the nurse who contracted Ebola in Dallas, but he reiterated that the virus was transmitted for the first time in the U.S. because of a “breach in safety protocol,” not because of defective protocols.
“I feel awful the health-care worker attending Thomas Eric Duncan became infected,” Frieden said.
The London Daily Mail identified the nurse as Nina Pham, 26, of Fort Worth, Texas, a graduate of Texas Christian University in 2010. The CDC has said she wore a mask, gown, shield and gloves when she attended Duncan in an isolation unit at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Duncan, a Liberian national who arrived in the U.S. last month after contracting the virus, was admitted to the hospital Sept. 26 and died Oct. 8.
Frieden continued to insist the current CDC methodology being used to combat Ebola will work if applied more diligently.
“We need hands-on training and hands-on monitoring to make sure health care workers dealing with Ebola patients follow CDC prescribed safety protocols 100 percent of the time,” Frieden said.
The CDC, however, has been unable to say what precise act or incident constituted the “breach in safety protocol” that caused the health-care worker to contract the disease.
“We have not identified a single thing that caused the health-care worker to become infected,” Frieden admitted after questioning from reporters.
Written by JEROME R. CORSI
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