Nurse flew on commercial jet a few hours before showing symptoms
Amber Vinson, another nurse who worked at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas Hospital and helped treat Eric Duncan is now confirmed to be infected with the deadly Ebola virus.
Vinson reported an elevated temperature of 99.5 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) and then hopped on a flight from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday. Never was Vinson told not to fly, however, the CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden says she should have never boarded the plane. Taking into account all passengers on board were at risk to catch the virus, the CDC is now considering putting all 76 workers from the Texas Hospital on TSA’s no fly list.
The CDC is also looking into lowering the fever threshold that is considered a sign of being infected with the disease; it is currently 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Vinson’s temperature was less than a degree lower.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings spoke with CNN and expressed his uncertainty of how this could have happened. “She was being monitored here in Dallas and if she was being monitored correctly, I think she should have never gotten on that flight,” he said.
Frieden said because Vinson was part of the team that helped care for Duncan and one other teammate had already contracted the virus, she shouldn’t have flown.
Frieden said, “The CDC guideline in this setting outlines the need for what is called controlled movement. That can include a charter plane, a car, but it does not include public transport. We will from this moment forward ensure that no other individual who is being monitored for exposure undergoes travel in any way other than controlled movement,” he said.
Vinson, who according to Frieden, is “ill but clinically stable.” She was transferred Wednesday night from the Dallas Hospital to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA, the location of the CDC. The hospital has successfully treated two other patients and is currently treating a healthcare worker who was infected in Sierra Leone.