The second Dallas hospital worker diagnosed with Ebola flew with 132 other passengers the day before her diagnosis.
The nurse, identified as 29 year-old Amber Vinson, flew on Frontier Airlines Flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas-Fort Worth on Monday evening, just one day before reporting her symptoms to the authorities, the Centers for Disease Control and Frontier Airlines said in a statement Wednesday. (RELATED: Ebola Hits Second Dallas Health Worker)
“The healthcare worker exhibited no signs or symptoms of illness while on Flight 1143, according to the crew,” the statement said. Vinson was admitted to the hospital Tuesday with a fever, one of the earliest signs of Ebola.
The CDC is now belatedly attempting to track down and interview all 132 passengers on the flight, and wants all passengers to call 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) to begin interviews this afternoon. (RELATED: New CDC Ebola Screening Wouldn’t Have Detected First US Case)
The CDC said Tuesday that it is monitoring 76 health care workers who may have had contact with the initial American Ebola patient, Thomas Duncan, or with his blood samples taken at the hospital. Despite monitoring, however, the latest Ebola patient was able to come into contact with potentially hundreds of people while flying across the country.
Vinson was put into isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas soon after reporting her symptoms, according to Texas officials. A preliminary Ebola test confirmed that she had the disease close to midnight Tuesday night, and the CDC is doing further tests in Atlanta to confirm the diagnosis. (RELATED: Dallas Ebola Patient’s Dog Won’t Be Killed)
The CDC is still monitoring 48 people who may have had contact with Thomas Duncan. None have fallen ill yet and the risk of them doing so at this point has fallen significantly, CDC head Tom Frieden said Tuesday. But the 76 hospital workers who may have been exposed to Duncan are still at high risk for developing the disease. (RELATED: Spanish Nurse First to Contract Ebola Outside Africa)