Amber Joy Vinson, the second person to have contracted Ebola within the United States after working with Thomas Eric Duncan, has been moved to a hospital in Atlanta. We are just finding out that Vinson traveled on a commercial airline flight October 10 from Dallas to Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to returning to Dallas on October 14 via Frontier Airlines, she called the Centers for Disease Control before she got on the flight because she had a fever of 99 degrees. She was told that it was ok to fly because her fever was below the threshold of 100.4. The pilots and passengers of the plane are now being monitored for symptoms of the virus.
Director of the CDC, Tom Frieden stated that he thinks her risk of spreading the Ebola virus is very low because she was not bleeding or vomiting. Dr. Frieden does go on to say that individuals who have been exposed to Ebola should not be traveling on a commercial airline, and that other75 healthcare workers who worked with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who was the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States, will not be allowed to fly.
Vinson was visiting relatives in Ohio who are employed at Kent State University. The university has asked Vinson’s relatives to not come to campus and self-monitor for the 21 day incubation period.
Vinson will be receiving treatment at Emory Hospital in Atlanta where both Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, the first patients to be flown to the United States from West Africa after having been infected with the virus, were treated.
Amber Joy Vinson is the second health care worker diagnosed after working with the infected Liberian man at the Texas Presbyterian Hospital. Nina Pham was diagnosed last weekend, and is listed in good condition after receiving a blood transfusion from previously infected patient Kent Brantly. Pham’s dog, Bently, is under quarantine, and no details have been released on his condition.
Frontier Airlines did fly again five times after Vinson’s flight on October 14 before being removed from service for cleaning, including flights from Cleveland to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Cleveland to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Atlanta to Cleveland. The CDC is recommending that customers who flew on flight 1142 Frontier Airlines on October 10 or 1143 on October 13 should contact the CDC if they exhibit any symptoms of the virus.