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‘We Are Deeply Sorry’: Texas Hospital Official on Missing First Ebola Patient’s Symptoms


"We made mistakes."

The Dallas hospital that allowed the first U.S. diagnosed Ebola patient to go home before he was brought back a few days later exhibiting more extreme symptoms of the disease said Thursday that it is "deeply sorry."

"Unfortunately, in our initial treatment of Mr. [Thomas Eric] Duncan, despite our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team, we made mistakes. We did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola. We are deeply sorry," Dr. Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer and senior executive vice president for the health company that manages Texas Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, said in a prepared testimony that would be presented to a congressional subcommittee Thursday.

Dr. Dan Varga, chief clinical officer at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, speaks as Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings looks on at right during a news conference, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, in Dallas. A second health care worker has tested positive for Ebola. (AP /LM Otero)

Federal health officials will testify before a committee later today to explain where things went wrong with the cases of Ebola in Dallas. Varga was not able to be present in person to share his testimony.

Varga said when the Liberian man died on Oct. 8 from the viral disease that is ravaging several countries in West Africa, it was "devastating to the nurses, doctors and team who tried so hard to save his life."

Since Duncan's death, two nurses who helped care for him also tested positive for the disease.

Varga reiterated in the testimony that the nurses were skilled and used "full protective measures under the CDC protocols."

"[W]e don’t yet know precisely how or when she was infected. But it’s clear there was an exposure somewhere, sometime. We are poring over records and observations, and doing all we can to find the answers," Varga said.

Read Varga's full testimony to see his account for the sequence of events involving Duncan and the two infected nurses and the lessons the staff has learned since then.

(H/T: The Hill)

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