According to a federal health official, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cleared a nurse who has Ebola to fly from Cleveland, Ohio, to Dallas.
The second nurse was identified as 29-year-old Amber Joy Vinson and reportedly she inserted catheters, drew blood and dealt with Thomas Duncan’s body fluids. Duncan, who was diagnosed with Ebola after coming to the U.S. from Liberia, died Oct. 8.
CDC spokesman David Daigle says Amber Joy Vinson spoke with the CDC official responsible for monitoring her health before she boarded the flight Monday.
Daigle says the 29-year-old Vinson reported her temperature was 99.5 Fahrenheit degrees, and she had no symptoms. Ebola sufferers aren’t contagious until they show symptoms. So she boarded Frontier Airlines Flight 1143.
Chances that other passengers were infected were very low because Vinson did not vomit on the flight and was not bleeding, but she should not have been aboard, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden told reporters.
Vinson was transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta by air ambulance and will be treated in a special isolation unit. Three other people have been treated there and two have been discharged, the hospital said in a statement.
President Barack Obama rescheduled a planned trip Wednesday to campaign for Democrats before November’s midterm elections to focus on the Ebola response. He met with Cabinet and Homeland Security officials at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, and the Administration announced later that the President would also reschedule campaign travel that had been set for Thursday because of the crisis.
“We are taking this very seriously at the highest levels of government,” Obama told reporters after meeting with officials managing the response. “And we are going to be able to manage this particular situation, but we have to look to the future.”
Reacting to the new Ebola case, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said Obama should consider a temporary ban on travel to the United States from countries suffering from an Ebola outbreak.
At least 4,493 people, predominantly in West Africa, have died in the worst Ebola outbreak since the disease was identified in 1976. The virus can cause fever, bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea, and spreads through contact with bodily fluids. Ebola is not airborne.