UPDATED: Second Dallas Healthcare Worker Has Ebola
Transmission electron micrograph of the Ebola virus
Centers for Disease Control
Update 12:15 p.m.:Amber Joy Vinson, the second Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital nurse diagnosed with Ebola after helping treat Thomas Eric Duncan, is being moved to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced at a news conference late this morning. The first Presbyterian nurse diagnosed with Ebola, Nina Pham, is not being moved to Emory because her condition is improving, the CDC says.
At the press conference, CDC Director Tom Frieden also said that Vinson should not have been allowed to travel on a public airplane after she became one of the people being monitored after coming into contact with Duncan, the Liberian man who was the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. From this point forward, healthcare workers and others being monitored will not be allowed to use publicly available transportation.
The 29-year-old Vinson traveled from Cleveland to Dallas on a Frontier Airlines jet October 13. Reports Wednesday morning indicated that Vinson had not shown any symptoms before boarding the plane, but CDC clarified at its press conference that she was running a low-grade fever of 99.5 degrees before getting on board. Pham was confirmed to have Ebola on Sunday.
As for the possible causes of Pham and Vinson's infections, Frieden reports that they treated Duncan while he was suffering from "large amounts of vomit and diarrhea." Duncan died on Oct. 8.
Neither the hospital nor the CDC has discovered the breach that led to the infections, and all other workers in contact with Duncan are being monitored for symptoms. Both Pham and Vinson were isolated within 90 minutes of first showing symptoms, according to the hospital.
"A lot is being said about what may or may not have occurred to cause some of our colleagues to contract this disease, but it's clear that there was an exposure, somewhere, sometime in their treatment of Mr. Duncan," said Dr. Daniel Varga, Presbyterian's chief clinical officer.
The CDC is sending an additional 16-member team of experts to combat the spread of Ebola within the Presbyterian community.
City and county officials were resolute.
"This is a person who is dealing with this diagnosis with the grit, grace and determination that Nina [Pham] has dealt with the diagnosis," County Judge Clay Jenkins said.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings acknowledged citywide anxiety but called for calm.
"We want to minimize rumors and maximize facts, we want to deal with facts, not fear," he said. "We are not fearful."