US hospital worker handled Ebola samples isolated on ship

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US hospital worker handled Ebola samples isolated on ship
Washington, Oct 18: A health worker at a Texas hospital, who may have had contact with specimens from the first patient diagnosed with Ebola on the US soil, has been isolated on a cruise ship in the Caribbean sea, the Department of State said Friday.

The employee of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, who was out of the country via a commercial cruise ship Oct 12, did not have direct contact with Duncan, a Liberian who was diagnosed with Ebola in the US and died Oct 8, but may have had contact with clinical specimens collected from him, Xinhua reported citing the statement.

When the worker left the country on the ship from Galveston, Texas, only self-monitoring was required, the department said.

It has been 19 days since the health worker, a female, may have processed the fluid samples of deceased Duncan, only two days shy of the 21-day incubation period for Ebola, it noted.

"The cruise ship's doctor has monitored and confirmed the worker was in good health," the statement said. "Following this examination, the hospital employee and travelling partner have voluntarily remained isolated in a cabin."

The department said it is working with the cruise line to safely bring them back to the US out of an abundance of caution.

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