Dallas Nurse: Is Ebola Airborne Now?

Ebola Sneeze - Public Domain

A three year nurse at Dallas Presbyterian Hospital told a local television station she fears Ebola may be airborne.

“We are wondering if it really is contact in airborne or contact in a breach of protocol,” she said. “We really don’t know.”

The nurse made the remarks after fellow nurse Nina Pham contracted the deadly disease. Pham had treated patient zero Thomas Eric Duncan who died from the disease last week.

Dallas officials have ordered an investigation into how the 26 year old woman contracted the disease. A HazChem team fumigated her apartment over the weekend.

On Monday the CDC said Pham contracted Ebola after a breach of protocol. The federal agency said she removed her protective equipment.

“When you have potentially soiled or contaminated gloves or masks or other things, to remove those without any risk of any contaminated material… touching you and being then on your clothes or face or skin… is not easy to do right,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC.

Bonnie Castillo, leader of National Nurses United, criticized the CDC for blaming Pham. “You don’t scapegoat and blame when you have a disease outbreak. We have a system failure. That is what we have to correct,” she said.

Other nurses, however, are concerned the disease is now airborne. They are joined by national experts on respiratory protection and infectious disease transmission who believe Ebola may now in fact be airborne.

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