CDC chief’s warning: ‘Deeply concerned’ about Ebola ‘breach in protocol’

As possible Ebola scares are popping up in the U.S., Centers For Disease Control’s director Dr. Tom Frieden tried to head off panic Sunday on “Face the Nation.”

The CDC will pursue a detailed investigation after a health care worker who treated “index patient” Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas contracted the disease, Frieden told host Bob Schieffer. 

The unidentified worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where Duncan died, treated the patient multiple times after his diagnosis, according to Frieden.

“The fact that we don’t know about a breach in protocol is concerning because, clearly, there was a breach in protocol,” Frieden said.

“Infections only occur when there’s a breach in protocol,” he said. “We know from many years of experience that it’s possible to care for potentials with Ebola safely without risk to healthcare workers, but we also know that its hard, that even a single breach can result in contamination and one of the areas that we look at closely are things like how you take off the gear that might be infected or contaminated.”

At the time of the interview, the results were only preliminary and have since been confirmed positive for Ebola in the Texas health care worker, who is a female, according to the Associated Press.

“While this is obviously bad news, it is not news that should bring about panic,” Frieden said.

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Michele Kirk

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