Nurse flew with Ebola symptom

SUBHEAD: Amber Vinson, 2nd nurse from Dallas to be infected, flew to and from Cleveland.

By Alan Horowitz on 15 October 2014 for Huffington Post -

Image above: Photo of the three people diagnosed with Ebola from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital; (l-r) Thomas Eric Duncan (deseased), nurse Nina Pham and nurse Amber Joy Vinson. CDC let Vinson fly from Cleveland to Dallas with low grade fever later determined to be from Ebola. From (

[IB Publisher's note: "Brownie You're Doing A Heck Of A Job", George W. Bush to FEMA head. It is beginning to look like the CDC (Center for Disease Control) is handling the Ebola outbreak in 2014 as badly as FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) handled Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) handled BP oil spill in 2010. ]

A Dallas nurse who took a commercial flight from Cleveland hours before reporting symptoms of Ebola says that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention told her it was okay to fly.
Amber Vinson helped treat Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died in Dallas of the Ebola virus earlier this month. On Wednesday, the CDC announced that she had contracted the virus as well.

The CDC also revealed that she had taken a flight to Dallas on Monday, though it said that it was extremely unlikely that any other passengers were exposed.

Vinson told CBS Dallas Fort Worth that she was feeling ill before boarding her flight. She had a low grade fever, but she said that officials told her it was okay to get on the plane. Vinson told CBS that she called the CDC several times with concerns.

is only contagious when a patient is symptomatic. Vinson's 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit fever wasn't high enough to be considered a symptom.

The CDC confirmed to FOX 4 News that they gave Vinson the green light to fly. "Vinson was not told that she could not fly," a government spokesperson told NBC News.

Vinson's comments contradict remarks made earlier today by CDC Director Tom Freiden, who said that she never should have gotten on the plane.

On Wednesday night, a letter from Frontier Airlines CEO Dave Siegel to airline employees claimed that the CDC had notified the airline that Vinson may have had symptoms while on the flight, the Denver Channel reported. "At 1:55 p.m. MDT (Wednesday) Frontier was notified by the CDC that the passenger may have been symptomatic earlier than initially suspected; including the possibility of possessing symptoms while onboard the flight," the letter said.

This would conflict with CDC's earlier statement that she didn't have symptoms of the illness while she was on the flight and didn't start showing symptoms until Tuesday.

After Vinson reported symptoms of Ebola on Tuesday, she was placed in isolation. On Wednesday, she was transported to Emory Hospital in Atlanta, where she will continue to receive treatment. She is in stable condition.

The 29-year-old nurse is the second person to contract Ebola in the United States. The first was Nina Pham, who is also a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where Duncan was being treated. Duncan is the first person to have died of Ebola in the United States.

The CDC is trying to locate the 132 passengers that were on the Frontier Airlines flight 1143 with Vinson to determine their potential risk of Ebola. On Wednesday night, an official said that a Fort Worth family with a child had been isolated after a member of the family boarded a Frontier airline with Vinson, according to NBC DFW's Brian Curtis.

After a scheduled trip to Denver, Frontier Airlines said that the plane that Vinson flew on was taken out of service. The seat covers and carpeting are to be replaced, the crew placed on paid leave, according to Marc Stewart of KMGH.

Frontier plane flew 5 more times

SUBHEAD: Carrier completed five more flights after carrying Ebola stricken nurse from Cleveland to Dallas.

By Hugo Martin & Dan Weinkel on 15 October 2014 for LA Times -

Image above: The Frontier Airlines plane that Amber Vinson flew from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday, rests at a terminal at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Wednesday, October 15, 2104. From original article.

The Frontier Airlines jet that carried a Dallas healthcare worker diagnosed with Ebola made five additional flights after her trip before it was taken out of service, according to a flight-monitoring website.

Denver-based Frontier said in a statement that it grounded the plane immediately after the carrier was notified late Tuesday night by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the Ebola patient.

Flight 1143, on which the woman flew from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth, was the last trip of the day Monday for the Airbus A320.

But Tuesday morning the plane was flown back to Cleveland and then to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., back to Cleveland and then to Atlanta and finally back to Cleveland again, according to Daniel Baker, chief executive of the flight-monitoring site

He said his data did not include any passenger manifests, so he could not tell how many total passengers flew on the plane Tuesday.

The passenger "exhibited no symptoms or sign of illness while on Flight 1143, according to the crew," Frontier said.

The plane went through a routine but "thorough" cleaning Monday night, Frontier said. Airline industry experts said routine overnight cleaning includes wiping down tray tables, vacuuming carpet and disinfecting restrooms.

The healthcare worker also had flown to Cleveland from Dallas three days earlier on Frontier Flight 1142, the airline reported.

An official with the union that represents Frontier pilots said members were so concerned about possible exposure to the deadly virus that they began reaching out to doctors and other experts Wednesday for information about Ebola.

The airline said it was working with the CDC to contact all 132 passengers on the Monday flight that carried the Ebola patient.

Frontier could not be reached to confirm the FlightAware data, and it was unclear whether passengers on the additional flights were being contacted.

“It seems like it’s not that big of a risk, but it’s pretty scary,” said the union official, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak for the group.

The union official also said that Frontier sent pilots information Wednesday morning outlining the cleaning procedures the carrier was using to make sure the disease did not spread.

In response to the news that another Ebola patient had flown on a commercial flight, the union that represents 60,000 flight attendants on 19 airlines is asking the CDC to monitor and care for the four flight attendants who were on the Frontier flight from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth.

The Assocciation. of Flight Attendants “will continue to press that crew members are regularly monitored and provided with any additional resources that may be required,” the group said.

The Ebola scare prompted the union last week to call for better measures to protect flight attendants from exposure to the deadly virus.

The group's international president, Sara Nelson, suggested that flight attendants are being asked to do too much in the fight against Ebola.

"We are not, however, professional healthcare providers and our members have neither the extensive training nor the specialized personal protective equipment required for handling an Ebola patient," she said in a statement.

Amber Joy Vinson of Dallas, traveled by air on October 13th, the day before she first reported symptoms.
Meanwhile, the trade group for the nation’s largest airlines said carriers were working with federal heath officials “to ensure we are doing all we can to protect the well-being of our passengers, our crew members and the American public.”

Airlines for America, whose members do not include Frontier, said its airlines are all equipped with “universal precautions kits” that include gloves, masks, aprons and biological waste bags to clean up any medical spill or accident on a plane.

Earlier this month, United Airlines was rushing to contact passengers who flew on two flights that carried a Liberian man infected with Ebola from Brussels to Washington, D.C., and then to Dallas.

The Ebola-stricken healthcare worker who flew on Frontier had been treating the Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, who has since died.

The latest scare has forced some air travelers to think twice about flying.

“It is very scary and my travel is now very, very limited,” Bruce Remick of Hollywood said. “I prefer Skype conferencing.”

Airline-industry stock prices have taken a beating in recent weeks, with some analysts blaming the Ebola scare.

On Wednesday, stocks of Delta Air Lines and United Airlines fell more than 1%. A New York Stock Exchange index of airline stock is down 11.57% over the last month. Frontier is privately held.


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