Amber Vinson, a 29-year old nurse is the second nurse working at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, to contract the Ebola virus within a week of another colleague, Nina Pham, 26, contracting the disease. Both were part of the medical team that treated the late Thomas Eric Duncan; and their case underlines the risks faced by medical personnel as they attend to Ebola patients.
But beyond this, facts have emerged to indicate that Amber Vinson boarded a plane from Cleveland to Dallas the day before she was diagnosed with the Ebola disease. Her ability to board a plane despite the medical security checks put in place by the US government to check the spread of Ebola transmission shows that the government faces a grim battle in its fight against the viral disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has given a temperature threshold of 100.4 Fahrenheit or 38 Celsius for Ebola virus detection to airport authorities, but Vinson’s temperature had recorded 99.5F or 37.5C when she was screened by airport officials before boarding her flight to Dallas. But she started developing symptoms a day after arriving by airplane at Dallas.
Vinson has been quarantined at a special isolation unit and undergoing treatment after being transferred by air ambulance to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. TV footages showed Vinson alongside an escort, both in protective gear, walking from the ambulance to the hospital door at Emory.
Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of CDC, states that passengers who flew with Vinson aboard the Frontier Airline Flight 1143 had very little chances of being infected because Vinson did not vomit or bleed or show any symptoms while aboard the plane. However, David Siegel, the CEO of Frontier Airlines asked the two pilots and four flight attendants that managed the flight to Dallas to commence on a paid 21-day leave of absence to monitor their health, while the Frontier plane has been taken out of service for cleaning and disinfections.