A second Texas nurse who tested positive for Ebola after caring for a patient with the virus had traveled by jetliner a day before she reported symptoms, U.S. and airline officials said on Wednesday.
The worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas had taken a Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland, Ohio to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Monday, the officials said.
The woman, identified to Reuters by her grandmother as Amber Vinson, 29, was isolated immediately after reporting a fever on Tuesday, Texas Department of State Health Services officials said. She had treated Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of Ebola and was the first patient diagnosed with the virus in the United States.
The circumstances under which Vinson traveled were not immediately known. But the latest revelation raised fresh questions about the handling of Duncan’s case and its aftermath by both the hospital and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
At least 4,447 people have died in West Africa in the worst Ebola outbreak since the disease was identified in 1976, but cases in the United States and Europe have been limited. The virus can cause fever, bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea, and spreads through contact with bodily fluids.
“Health officials have interviewed the latest patient to quickly identify any contacts or potential exposures, and those people will be monitored,” the health department said in a statement.