(AP) Health authorities in the state of Louisiana say they have no idea how any staff members at a Louisiana health center that treated more than a dozen people infected with the Ebola virus were able to enter the country and transmit the disease.
The Associated Press reported Friday that Louisiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Green said in a statement that no other state or federal agency was aware of the outbreak.
“There are no records of any employees in Louisiana who may have come into contact with anyone who may be infected with any form of Ebola,” Green said.
“The CDC is working to identify those individuals and is working with state and federal health agencies to gather additional information about the outbreak.”
The Associated Statesman reported that Louisiana health officials initially denied that there were any employees infected with an Ebola virus, saying only that they were monitoring a number of employees.
The AP later learned that one employee who tested positive for the virus had tested negative for it, the AP reported.
A few days later, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals issued a news release that said it had not been able to identify anyone who had been exposed to the patient in question, according to the AP.
The release said that in the past month, a total of 30 employees had tested positive, and they were not contagious.
“No other state agency or federal government agency was notified of this incident,” Green’s statement said.
The state health agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The agency did issue a statement Friday that said that it was “aware of the reports of infection” and that the health department was working with local and federal authorities.
The Louisiana governor, John Bel Edwards, has been criticized by other governors and health experts for his slow response to the outbreak, including an ongoing federal investigation into the health care system’s handling of the virus.