Second nurse's infection puts 130 under Ebola threat

Publish Date
Thursday, 16 October 2014, 3:46PM

One hundred and thirty two people are needing to be tracked down by health authorities after a second nurse in the US contracted Ebola.

The nurse, who cared for Thomas Duncan, has been diagnosed with the disease and put into isolation.

Dallas journalist LP Phillips says breaches in protocol appear to be behind her infection.

But the breaches didn't stop there, as the nurse has caused a logistical nightmare by taking a commercial flight on Monday, potentially exposing others to the disease.

"Now every person, 132 people on that flight, are having to be monitored and contacted and they're going to have to figure out what's up with them."

Meanwhile, public health experts are confident New Zealand hospitals are prepared for a possible Ebola outbreak.

Hospitals around the world are reviewing their procedures after a second nurse contracted Ebola in Texas.

Christchurch hospital still has one ward needing to be isolated against a potential threat.

Director of public health Dr Darren Hunt says they're just putting in extra protection.

"All our hospitals in New Zealand have a good level of preparation for infectious diseases.

"What we're putting in place is some additional measures to deal with any novel diseases such as Ebola, so it's really in addition to the things we already have in place."

And there are fears for the tourism sector if Ebola outbreak discourages people from overseas travel.

The second Texas health worker diagnosed with the disease may have boarded a commercial aircraft with the virus.

Business commentator Kerry Porter says the impact of the news could be immediate.

"In particular, airlines and airports - particularly if the number of cases in developed countries increases then confidence in flying will start to diminish.'

Qantas International's revenue dropped 56 percent during a period of the SARS epidemic.

Source: Newstalk ZB