Fresh Ebola concerns spread in the US

A nurse at a Texas hospital who helped treat the country's first Ebola patient has contracted it too.

FILE: Fresh concerns about the spread of the Ebola in the United States (US) have been raised. Picture: EPA/Ahmed Jallanzo.

JOHANNESBURG - Fresh concerns about the spread of the Ebola in the United States (US) have been raised by reports that a second health care worker has been diagnosed with the disease.

Another nurse at a Texas hospital who helped treat the country's first patient to die from the disease has contracted it too.

The second infection has raised questions about the protocols in place to deal with the virus.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has admitted the government could have been better prepared to contain the virus as it spread from the infected patient.

The CDC is planning to launch a response team that will go to any hospital reporting an Ebola case with a team of experienced workers.

The worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, was immediately isolated after reporting a fever on Tuesday, the department said.

"Health officials have interviewed the latest patient to quickly identify any contacts or potential exposures, and those people will be monitored," the department said.

The news comes just days after another nurse, 26-year-old Nina Pham, became the first person infected by Ebola in the US while caring for Duncan during much of his 11 days in the hospital.

He died on 8 October.

The CDC said in a statement that it was performing confirmation testing of Texas' preliminary tests on the new patient.

"An additional health care worker testing positive for Ebola is a serious concern, and the CDC has already taken active steps to minimise the risk to health care workers and the patient," the CDC said.