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New York Post: “CDC searching for 132 passengers who took flight with Ebola nurse”

Via The New York Post (source link):  The ​second Texas ​health worker who tested positive for the Ebola virus flew ​from Cleveland to Dallas just one day before ​being diagnosed, the ​Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

Amber Joy Vinson, 29,​ who contracted the disease after treating Thomas Eric Duncan​,​ traveled on Frontier Airlines Flight 1143​, from​ Cleveland ​Hopkins International Airport ​to Dallas/Fort Worth, on Oct. 13. There were 132 passengers on board, ​all of whom the CDC now wants to interview about the flight.

“The health care worker exhibited no signs or symptoms of illness while on ​Flight 1143, according to the crew,” a ​CDC ​statement read. “Because of the proximity in time between the evening flight and first report of illness the following morning, CDC is reaching out to passengers.”

​”Individuals who are determined to be at any risk will be actively monitored,” the CDC said.

​Frontier Airlines said it was contacted around 1 a.m. about a customer who traveled on ​F​light 1143 and had tested positive for Ebola. The flight landed in Dallas at 8:16 p.m. local time and remained overnight at the airport until officials conducted a thorough cleaning consistent with CDC guidelines.

​​”The flight landed in Dallas/Fort Worth at 8:16 p.m. local ​time ​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​,” Frontier said.​
​”The safety and security of our customers and employees is our primary concern,” the airline said in a statement. “Frontier will continue to work closely with CDC and other governmental agencies to ensure proper protocols and procedures are being followed.”

The patient flew into Cleveland on Oct. 10, on Frontier Flight 1142, the airline said.​

“The 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,” Frontier said.

Health officials in Dallas are now faced with the possibility of running out of room for Ebola patients at the Dallas hospital where another ​​health care worker has tested positive for the disease.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital only has three isolation rooms equipped to properly quarantine and treat people carrying the deadly virus — which creates a frightening dilemma, since more patients are expected.

“We are preparing contingencies for more and that is a very real possibility,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said during a press conference Wednesday morning.

Jenkins added that he and his colleagues did not yet have a plan for what they’ll do if they end up with more patients than space. He said he would be working in conjunction with the CDC and the state public health commissioner to address it.

Vinson — who contracted the Ebola virus while treating Thomas Eric Duncan — was isolated and tested overnight after an initial report of a fever Tuesday. She was described as a person who lives alone, has no pets and truly cares about her job at the hospital.

“This is a devoted person, who has dedicated their life to helping others,” Jenkins said. “A person with their life before them and a person that’s dealing with this diagnosis with the grit and grace that Nina has dealt with.”

The condition of Nina Pham — the nurse who also contracted Ebola while providing care for Duncan — was said to have improved from stable to good, according to Jenkins. Her dog was also described as doing well.

“Our team spirit is tried and tested,” said Dr. Dan Varga of Texas Health Resources. “While concerning and unfortunate, it is continued evidence that our monitoring is working.”
Dallas Mayor Mike Rollins spoke during a press conference about what was being done at Vinson’s home to ensure the safety of neighbors and the community.

“Dallas fire and rescue went to the 6000 block of Village Bend Drive, where they began Phase 1 of decontamination of the common areas and areas outside the apartment,” he said.
Rollins said effective cleaning was done around the home and people living in the area were immediately notified of the situation. He added that Phase 2 of decontamination — which includes cleaning inside the apartment and a car — will be done early this afternoon.

“The only way we are going to beat this is person by person, moment by moment, detail by detail,” Rollins said. “We have those protocols in place.”

Royce Christyn
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