A second Dallas health-care worker has tested positive for Ebola, officials said Wednesday, as they also asked 132 people who flew with that infected woman on a Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday to call the federal Centers for Disease Control.
Officials also warned that additional cases of the deadly virus at the Dallas hospital where the woman worked is "a very real possibility."
"We have contingencies for more," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins during a briefing on the latest case, of a female employee of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who cared for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan.
Jenkins said the second infected woman, who was not identified by name or job title, was isolated within 90 minutes of reporting a fever Tuesday. She is the third person diagnosed in the U.S. with Ebola, which is currently epidemic in three West African countries.
The CDC hours later revealed that the newly infected woman had flown on Monday on Frontier Airlines Flight No. 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth. The CDC asked all passengers aboard that flight to call 1-800-232-4632. Frontier Airlines, in its own statement, said passengers who also traveled with the woman on Flight 1142 on Friday from Dallas/Fort Worth to Cleveland should also contact CDC at the same phone number.
"Individuals who are determined to be at any potential risk will be actively monitored," the CDC said in a prepared statement. CDC said the woman exhibited no symptoms aboard the flight on Monday evening.
Frontier Airlines said Flight 1142 remained overnight from Monday and received a thorough cleaning per normal procedures. It was also cleaned again in Cleveland on Tuesday night, the airline said.
The woman's employer, Texas Health Presbyterian, is facing renewed criticism for its handling of Duncan's case, which also led to the the infection of nurse Nina Pham, 26, who is also in isolation at the hospital.
Texas Health didn't initially admit the Liberian national Duncan for treatment Sept. 25 despite knowing he had a high fever and had recently traveled from West Africa, center of the largest Ebola outbreak on record. Duncan was admitted three days later after becoming more seriously ill. He died Oct. 8.
The newly diagnosed woman was one of 77 people, including Pham, who was involved in treating Duncan or handling his blood. All were placed on monitoring list, but only after Pham was diagnosed with Ebola over the weekend. They join 48 people who had or may have had contact with Duncan before he was admitted to the hospital.