Update: Amber Vinson Says She Received Clearance From CDC To Board Flight
Update 10/16/14 8:16 a.m.:
Although CDC director Tom Frieden spoke out saying that Vinson should not have traveled via a commercial flight because she was running a fever of 99.5 and had cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, CBS Dallas is now reporting that Vinson contacted and received clearance from the CDC to catch her flight. Apparently, she was told that it was okay because she wasn’t showing symptoms and because her 99.5 temperature hadn’t reached the 100.4 degree threshold.
“This nurse, Nurse Vinson, did in fact call the CDC several times before taking that flight and said she has a temperature, a fever of 99.5, and the person at the CDC looked at a chart and because her temperature wasn’t 100.4 or higher she didn’t officially fall into the category of high risk,” said Dr. John LaPook on the CBS Evening News.
The second Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital nurse to contract the Ebola virus while caring for now-deceased patient Thomas Eric Duncan has been identified as Amber Joy Vinson, 29, NBC reports. Officials say that she had extensive contact with Duncan while he was vomiting and experiencing diarrhea.
Just one day before her diagnosis, Vinson boarded a plane to Cleveland, Ohio with a fever. Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that she had a temperature of 99.5. Because of the reading and because she previously treated Thomas Eric Duncan, Dr. Frieden says that she should not have boarded the plane.
“She should not have traveled on a commercial airline,” he said.
Health officials are still trying to track down and interview all 132 people who were on Frontier Airlines Flight 1143 with her.
“She did not vomit. She was not bleeding,” Dr. Frieden said. “So the level of risk of people around her should be extremely low.”
Health officials are still looking into how healthcare workers were able to contract the virus while wearing protective gear. During their investigation, they found that some workers layered their protective gear and taped their gloves to their hands. Apparently, both actions increase the risk of contracting the virus.
Currently, Vinson is said to be ill, but clinically stable. She was scheduled to be flown to Atlanta’s Emory Hospital today. The institution is one of the country’s top hospitals equipped to handle the Ebola virus. Emory treated two other Americans, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, both of whom recovered and were released.