Ebola Horror: Infected Nurse Flew U.S. Airline
CDC tracking down passengers for possible exposure
NEW YORK – Only hours after the Centers for Disease Control reassured the American public the health-care procedures at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas were adequate to contain Ebola, CDC announced a second health-care worker who treated the “index patient,” Thomas Eric Duncan from Liberia, has been diagnosed with the disease.
At an early morning press conference in Dallas, hospital officials admitted they are “learning as they go” as concerns mount nationwide that the CDC may not have fully understood how Ebola is transmitted and that CDC protocols may be inadequate.
CDC, nevertheless, said in an early morning press release Wednesday, “As we have said before, because of our ongoing investigation, it is not unexpected that there would be additional exposures.”
The nurse, however, identified as 29-year-old Amber Jay Vinson, took a flight from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on Monday, the day before she reported symptoms.
Frontier Airlines said in a statement it was notified by CDC at 1 a.m. Wednesday that a customer on a flight Monday later tested positive for Ebola.
Flight 1143 landed at 8:16 p.m. local time in Dallas-Fort Worth and “remained overnight at the airport having completed its flying for the day at which point the aircraft received a thorough cleaning per our normal procedures which is consistent with CDC guidelines prior to returning to service the next day.”
The airline said the plane also was also cleaned again in Cleveland Tuesday night. Previously the customer had traveled from Dallas Fort Worth to Cleveland on Frontier flight 1142 on Friday.
The CDC said in a statement that because of the proximity in time between the evening flight and first report of illness the following morning, it is asking all 132 passengers on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Oct. 13 to call 1 800-CDC INFO (1 800 232-4636).
Public health professionals will begin Wednesday afternoon interviewing the passengers about the flight, answering their questions and arranging follow up.
Health officials have interviewed Vinson, who lives alone with no pets, to identify any contacts or potential exposures. Confirmatory testing was being conducted at CDC while decontamination was under way at the patient’s Dallas apartment.
Only yesterday, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden once again insisted to reporters that CDC protocols are sufficient to control the Ebola outbreak in the United States and West Africa, if they are followed precisely 100 percent of the time.
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