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CDC Director: 'We May Never Know Exactly' How Two Nurses Became Infected With Ebola

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In this Oct. 16, 2014, photo, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Last May, as Ebola crept across West Africa, America’s top infectious disease expert told a group of Harvard students in a commencement speech to always second-guess their assumptions because "overconfidence can kill."Five months later in a hearing room on Capitol Hill, Frieden was accused of not following his own advice _ repeatedly assuring the nation it was safe from an Ebola outbreak even as two U.S. nurses became infected and one was allowed to board a commercial airline, each following safety protocols Frieden helped put in place. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais\n

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Thomas Frieden said Monday evening that an investigation into how two nurses contracted Ebola while caring for a patent with the deadly virus may never yield conclusive results.

Speaking on a telephone conference, Frieden said "we may never know exactly" how the two nurses who treated Thomas Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S., became infected with the deadly virus.

Nurse Nina Pham, who caught the virus from Duncan, said she followed CDC protocol while dealing with the patient. Nonetheless, Frieden previously blamed a "breach in protocol" for allowing her to contract Ebola.

On Monday, CDC officials released new tightened guidelines for health care workers dealing with Ebola.

Health workers have been pushing for new standards since two Dallas hospital nurses were diagnosed with the disease this month after treating an Ebola patient.

The guidelines call for face shields, hoods, boot covers and other garb that leave no part of the body exposed. They also call for a trained monitor to supervise the donning and doffing of protective wear. And they call for repeated training and practice.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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