Hospital Worker Diagnosed With Ebola Traveled On PlanePlay
Health officials are transferring a second health worker who contracted Ebola from a Liberian man who sought treatment at a Dallas hospital to Emory University Hospital.
The patient has been identified as 29 year-old Amber Joy Vinson.
Officials are also alerting airline passengers who flew on the same flight as the healthcare worker on Monday, a day before she came to the hospital with a low-grade fever. Officials confirmed she had tested positive for Ebola early on Wednesday, around midnight.
The 132 passengers were on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas-Fort Worth.
Infected Ebola patients are not considered contagious until they have symptoms.
But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking the passengers to call the health agency so they can be monitored.
Vinson cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian patient who was admitted to the hospital on September 28th and died last Wednesday.
Dr. Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer for Texas Health Resources, said at a news conference that their monitoring program is working and that his time will "rise to meet the challenge."
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says the city is preparing for the "very real possibility" that there will be more cases of Ebola.
Meantime, the White House says President Obama is cancelling a planned trip to New Jersey and Connecticut to convene a Cabinet meeting on Ebola.
Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson speaks to KERA's Doualy Xaykaothao, who has been covering the story.
Statement from the CDC
On the morning of Oct. 14, the second healthcare worker reported to the hospital with a low-grade fever and was isolated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that the second healthcare worker who tested positive last night for Ebola traveled by air Oct. 13, the day before she reported symptoms.
Because of the proximity in time between the evening flight and first report of illness the following morning, CDC is reaching out to passengers who flew on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth Oct. 13.
CDC is asking all 132 passengers on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on October 13 (the flight route was Cleveland to Dallas Fort Worth and landed at 8:16 p.m. CT) to call 1 800-CDC INFO (1 800 232-4636). After 1 p.m. ET, public health professionals will begin interviewing passengers about the flight, answering their questions, and arranging follow up. Individuals who are determined to be at any potential risk will be actively monitored.
The healthcare worker exhibited no signs or symptoms of illness while on flight 1143, according to the crew. Frontier is working closely with CDC to identify and notify passengers who may have traveled on flight 1143 on Oct. 13. Passengers who may have traveled on flight 1143 should contact CDC at 1 800-CDC INFO (1 800 232-4636).
Statement from Frontier Airlines
At approximately 1:00 a.m. MT on October 15, Frontier was notified by the CDC that a customer traveling on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on Oct. 13 has since tested positive for the Ebola virus. The flight landed in Dallas/Fort Worth at 8:16 p.m. local 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. It was also cleaned again in Cleveland last night. Previously the customer had traveled from Dallas Fort Worth to Cleveland on Frontier flight 1142 on October 10.
Customer exhibited no symptoms or sign of illness while on flight 1143, according to the crew. Frontier responded immediately upon notification from the CDC by removing the aircraft from service and is working closely with CDC to identify and contact customers who may traveled on flight 1143.
- The Associated Press contributed reporting.
- Doualy Xaykaothao, senior reporter for KERA. She tweets @DoualyX.
This segment aired on October 15, 2014.