Thirteen nurses at top Ohio hospitals were exposed to Ebola patient Amber Vinson on a recent commercial flight, the Plain Dealer newspaper reports.
The Cleveland Clinic and MetroHealth Medical Center both said Wednesday night that their own staff nurses were on the same flight as Amber Vinson, who flew from Dallas to Ohio last Friday with a mild fever after treating the late Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan. Both hospitals said that the nurses are on paid leave and are being monitored for signs of the virus.
Five nurses from the Cleveland Clinic and eight nurses from MetroHealth were on the Oct. 10 flight with Vinson after attending a Texas nursing conference.
“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,” the hospitals said in a joint statement.
Vinson returned to Dallas on an Oct. 13 Frontier Airlines flight and was soon thereafter diagnosed with Ebola. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) staff member told Vinson that she could fly with a 99.5 degree fever after treating Duncan. CDC director Thomas Frieden later said that Vinson should not have taken the commercial flight.
MetroHealth plans to hold a press conference at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.