Health officials believe Amber Vinson was contagious four days before her official diagnosis.
Two schools and a bridal wear shop in Cleveland, Ohio have been closed as a precaution after Amber Vinson had contact with people there.
The CDC believes she had a slight fever when she flew from Dallas to Cleveland, and that she may have been contagious as early as Friday of last week. She was officially diagnosed on Tuesday of this week, four days later.
President Obama commented on the Vinson case saying:
“It is very important that we are monitoring and tracking anyone who was in close proximity to this second nurse.” (source)
Officials are now tracking the contacts she made on that flight, and those she came into contact with in Ohio, as well as those people on the return flight to Dallas. Several of those passengers were themselves nurses, working it’s believed, at three hospitals in Cleveland. A statement released by two of the facilities said:
“Today, we learned that Cleveland Clinic and The MetroHealth System had employees – mostly nurses – aboard the Frontier flight from Dallas to Cleveland on October 10, returning from a nursing conference in Texas. That flight included the Dallas nurse who was diagnosed with Ebola when she returned to Dallas on October 13.
Both health systems have put all of our employees who were on that flight on paid leave while we will monitor their health daily. We are confident that these nurses are at low risk of exposure since we understand that the Dallas nurse did not have symptoms at the time. We have taken this measure as an extra precautionary step for our employees, patients, and visitors.
Cleveland Clinic, The MetroHealth System, and University Hospitals will be working closely together to keep our community safe and to work toward preventing the spread of the Ebola virus.” (source)
Many questions remain about how Vinson, and her colleague Nina Pham became infected when they cared for Thomas Duncan. Many staff have said that the procedures in place for dealing with Ebola patients were inadequate, and that the bio-containment clothing and equipment provided to staff was not fit for purpose.
Newsmax reported yesterday that the CDC is considering adding the names of healthcare workers under observation to the country’s ‘no fly’ list in the wake of the Vinson case.
It should be remembered that Vinson checked with the CDC before taking the flight and she was told it was okay to do so. It’s down to the CDC that she boarded those flights. Few general nurses are fully knowledgable regarding Ebola, Vinson checked and the CDC said yes, you can fly. If Ebola spreads due to Amber Vinson moving, unhindered around the country the CDC have to shoulder the blame for it.
There seems to be no issue with putting American citizens on a no-fly list, preventing their movements in order to stop the spread of Ebola. Why then, is there such resistance shown when it’s suggested that foreign nationals with direct links to Ebola hotspots are prevented from entering the United States in order to limit the spread of the same disease?
If travel bans had been in place two US nurses would not be in isolation wondering if they are going to die.
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