Continuing Coverage: Nurse who contracted Ebola flew through Cleveland after staying in Akron

Travelers react to Ebola concerns at Hopkins Airport
Nurse, Amber Vinson contracted Ebola. (Source: Akron Public Schools)
Nurse, Amber Vinson contracted Ebola. (Source: Akron Public Schools)

19 Action News has learned the second nurse who tested positive for Ebola in Dallas, TX flew through Hopkins International on a Frontier Airlines flight on Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. That plane was disinfected at Hopkins Airport multiple times and was waiting to fly to Atlanta next. However, after various delays, the flight has been canceled. The plane eventually took off on a flight to Denver Wednesday evening.

The Centers for Disease Control says nurse Amber Vinson, who contracted the virus, cared for Ebola patient Thomas Duncan. Vinson was in Akron, OH visiting with family members from Oct. 10-13.

Duncan was diagnosed with Ebola on Sept. 30 after contracting it while visiting Liberia. He died Oct. 8 at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

According to CNN, Vinson who lives alone, was in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. She is being transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Vinson will be placed in the same isolation unit there in which three patients have already been treated. Two of them were discharged in late August one is still being treated.

The Centers For Disease Control and Frontier Airlines released the following statement

On the morning of Oct. 14, the second healthcare worker reported to the hospital with a low-grade fever and was isolated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that the second healthcare worker who tested positive last night for Ebola traveled by air Oct. 13, the day before she reported symptoms.

Because of the proximity in time between the evening flight and first report of illness the following morning, CDC is reaching out to passengers who flew on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth Oct. 13.

CDC is asking all 132 passengers on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on October 13 (the flight route was Cleveland to Dallas Fort Worth and landed at 8:16 p.m. CT) to call 1 800-CDC INFO (1 800 232-4636). After 1 p.m. ET, public health professionals will begin interviewing passengers about the flight, answering their questions, and arranging follow up. Individuals who are determined to be at any potential risk will be actively monitored.

The healthcare worker exhibited no signs or symptoms of illness while on flight 1143, according to the crew. Frontier is working closely with CDC to identify and notify passengers who may have traveled on flight 1143 on Oct. 13. Passengers who may have traveled on flight 1143 should contact CDC at 1 800-CDC INFO (1 800 232-4636).

Frontier Airlines Statement

"At approximately 1:00 a.m. MT on October 15, Frontier was notified by the CDC that a customer traveling on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on Oct. 13 has since tested positive for the Ebola virus. The flight landed in Dallas/Fort Worth at 8:16 p.m. local and remained overnight at the airport having completed its flying for the day at which point the aircraft received a thorough cleaning per our normal procedures which is consistent with CDC guidelines prior to returning to service the next day. It was also cleaned again in Cleveland last night. Previously the customer had traveled from Dallas Fort Worth to Cleveland on Frontier flight 1142 on October 13.

Customer exhibited no symptoms or sign of illness while on flight 1143, according to the crew. Frontier responded immediately upon notification from the CDC by removing the aircraft from service and is working closely with CDC to identify and contact customers who may traveled on flight 1143.

Customers who may have traveled on either flight should contact CDC at 1 800 CDC-INFO.

The safety and security of our customers and employees is our primary concern. Frontier will continue to work closely with CDC and other governmental agencies to ensure proper protocols and procedures are being followed."

Joint Statement from Cleveland Clinic, The MetroHealth System, and University Hospitals

"Today, we learned that Cleveland Clinic and The MetroHealth System had employees – mostly nurses – aboard the Frontier flight from Dallas to Cleveland on October 10, returning from a nursing conference in Texas. That flight included the Dallas nurse who was diagnosed with Ebola when she returned to Dallas on October 13.

Both health systems have put all of our employees who were on that flight on paid leave while we will monitor their health daily. 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. We have taken this measure as an extra precautionary step for our employees, patients, and visitors.

Cleveland Clinic, The MetroHealth System, and University Hospitals will be working closely together to keep our community safe and to work toward preventing the spread of the Ebola virus."

The Ohio Department of Health is activating a 24-hour-a-day call center to answer Ohioans' questions about Ebola and the recent events in Ohio, in an effort to ensure Ohioans get accurate, timely information. Call is 1-866-800-1404. The call center, housed at the Ohio Department of Health, began operations at 6 p.m. on Oct. 15 and will be staffed by public health nurses and other public health professionals, with infectious disease specialists available as needed.

"ODH's call center will provide timely, accurate, credible information about Ebola and the state's response," said Dr.Mary DiOrio, state epidemiologist and interim chief of the ODH Bureau of Prevention and Health Promotion. "While initially 24 hours a day, the call center hours may be changed as call volume indicates."

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