A healthcare worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has tested positive for Ebola after a preliminary test, the state’s health agency said.
Confirmatory testing will be conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
The employee helped care for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person ever diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. Duncan died on Wednesday.
“We knew a second case could be a reality, and we’ve been preparing for this possibility,” Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said in a statement Sunday morning.
“We are broadening our team in Dallas and working with extreme diligence to prevent further spread.”
If confirmed by the CDC, the healthcare worker’s case would mark the first known transmission of Ebola in the United States and the second-ever diagnosis in the country.
David Sanders, associate professor at biological sciences at Purdue University, said he thinks the CDC testing will likely support the preliminary results.
“It sounds likely that it’s positive, and it’s going to stay positive.”