Your Friday Afternoon Ebola Digest
Transmission electron micrograph of the Ebola virus
Centers for Disease Control
Heading into a much needed weekend, here's the latest Ebola news of note:
The condition of the patients. Nina Pham is now being treated at a National Institutes of Health facility in Maryland. She is listed as being in fair condition. While she was listed in good condition at Presbyterian, doctors at NIH have stressed that her condition has not "deteriorated." Video released of Pham just before her transfer shows her in good spirits. Amber Vinson, the second Presbyterian nurse to contract Ebola, is in stable condition at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
Baylor sends potential Ebola patient to Presbyterian. Late Thursday, an individual came into the Baylor emergency room through a private entrance reporting Ebola symptoms and contact with someone with Ebola. The hospital has issued a statement on its Facebook page that reads a lot like the statement the city of Frisco issued after Michael Monnig showed up at the Care Now.
DART personnel off the job for potential Ebola contact Two DART employees, including a bus driver, have been put on leave after self-reporting Ebola risk. From DART's Morgan Lyons:
Two DART employees have been connected with persons who have been exposed to or are carrying the Ebola virus. One of the employees is a bus operator who notified us of being a passenger on the plane from Cleveland with a nurse currently undergoing treatment for Ebola. The operator learned of his possible exposure from media accounts and notified us after contacting the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). However, this was after he had completed his shift Wednesday morning. Although the operator was not displaying symptoms at the time, and based on CDC information would not be able to transmit the virus, we will attempt to contact customers who were on the bus during his shift. The bus he was operating was immediately removed from service for cleaning.
Both DART employees are considered low risk by the CDC since they have had no direct contact with any of the individuals with the virus. Nevertheless, they were sent home as soon as they told us of their situations. They will remain there until it is determined they are not carrying the virus and are no longer at risk of carrying it. We will stay in touch with them throughout this process.
UT student isolated and not attending class after being on flight with Amber Vinson University of Texas at Austin president Bill Powers emailed the UT community to alert them of an asymptomatic student who was on the October 13 Frontier Airlines flight Vinson took from Cleveland to Dallas. The email:
Dear UT Community,
I wanted to share this information with you as soon as possible. On October 13, a University of Texas at Austin student flew on Frontier Airlines Flight 1143, on which a health care worker who has tested positive for Ebola also was a passenger. The student was not seated in the zone of concern on the plane, is not showing any symptoms, is monitoring body temperature, and is in daily contact with health officials, according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The student has been fully compliant beyond the CDC recommendations for possible Ebola exposure.
Health officials do not believe there is any health risk to campus at this time. However, in an abundance of caution, the student, who lives in a private residence, is staying home from class and away from campus activities. The university supports this decision and is providing academic and other resources that the student needs.
As president and as the parent of a current UT student, I want you to know that the safety of our students, faculty, and staff always comes first. We are working with city, state, and federal officials to monitor the situation and follow best practices. For specific information about the Ebola Virus please visit the CDC website.
Bill Powers, President
The University of Texas at Austin
Vinson may have shown symptoms far earlier than initially reported. The Associated Press reports that the CDC has been unable to determine when Vinson became symptomatic and that it could have been as early her Dallas-to-Cleveland outbound flight on Friday. A bridal shop where Vinson reportedly tried on wedding dresses in Akron, Ohio has closed as a precautionary measure and passengers on the outbound flight are now part of the CDC contact investigation.
Rick Perry calls for travel ban. Governor Perry has joined the mass of politicians clamoring for a travel ban to and from countries effected by Ebola. Smartly, Perry's plan would make an exception for healthcare workers.
President Obama names Ebola "czar." Ron Klain, who, among other things, is the only man to serve as chief of staff for two vice presidents, is slated to coordinate the federal response to Ebola. Ezra Klein thinks he's a great choice.
An infectious disease specialist from Texas Health Presbyterian is currently being monitored on a cruise ship. This one's weird. A worker at Presbyterian who handled samples of Thomas Eric Duncan's fluids got on a cruise before being notified that she was subject to CDC quarantine. She is now being monitored remotely by the CDC and on the ship by its doctor.