Just about an hour ago, the CDC's Tom Frieden held a press conference in which he tried to diffuse the CDC's incompetence for a allowing healthcare workers who cared for the now deceased "Index Patient" Thomas Eric Duncan, to board a plane. A worker, who as was reported earlier today, was confirmed sick with the deadly virus. Still, in order to defend his agency from accusations of gross incompetence, of which it clearly is guilty, Frieden said that...
- NEW PATIENT HADN'T BEEN BLEEDING OR VOMITING BEFORE FLIGHT
... Although, he promptly pushed the ball of blame back in her court adding that:
- NEW PATIENT KNOWINGLY EXPOSED TO EBOLA,SHOULDNT HAVE FLOWN
But what is worse, is that as the WaPo reports the nurse had a fever of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit before boarding a passenger jet on Monday, a day before she reported symptoms of the virus and was tested, according to public health officials. "Even though there appeared to be little risk for the other people on that flight, she should not have traveled that way, Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a news conference Wednesday."
“She should not have flown on a commercial airline,” Frieden said.
The reason he said that is that since she was clearly symptomatic, she was also contagious. Which explains why the CDC is scrambling to uncover all those passengers who may have flowen with her.
Furthermore, the nurse has now been identified: "The health-care worker was not identified by public health officials, but family members told Reuters and the Dallas Morning News that her name is Amber Vinson, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. She was part of a team that had cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who flew to Texas and was diagnosed with Ebola last month, during his hospitalization in Dallas. Duncan died last week. Nina Pham, a nurse who also cared for Duncan, was diagnosed with Ebola on Sunday."
And where it gets simply ridiculous is that not only did the nurse fly once, she flied a second time, this time from Cleveland to Texas on Monday.
Vinson, who flew from Dallas to Cleveland on Friday, flew back to Texas on Monday, a day after Pham was diagnosed. She reported a fever on Tuesday and was isolated and tested for Ebola.
Still, the fact that she boarded a commercial flight raises the question of how much the other 50 health-care workers who entered Duncan’s room could have traveled or moved around in recent days. The CDC recommends controlled movement on private flights or vehicles for people who may have been exposed to Ebola, Frieden said.
Meanwhile, the panic to contain the possible spread of the airborne virus is full blown: as WFAA reports, "Frontier Airlines says the plane stayed at DFW International Airport overnight, and has since been cleaned. It traveled to Cleveland on Tuesday and was cleaned again. The airline says Vinson traveled to Ohio from Dallas-Fort Worth on Flight 1142 on Oct. 10.
"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," the airline said in a press release.
Some other details:
Wednesday morning, Mayor Mike Rawlings confirmed that Vinson lives alone without pets at The Green in the Village Apartments, in the 6000 block of Village Bend near Skillman, just north of Lovers Lane.
Police and Dallas Fire-Rescue teams were at the complex early Wednesday, cleaning common areas and knocking on doors, communicating with neighbors. Reverse 911 calls were sent out at 6:15 a.m. to people who live in the area.
"We rallied together and we decided that we needed to move quickly like we did Sunday morning," Mayor Rawlings said.
He added that the state has hired a company to come in Wednesday afternoon and clean Vinson's apartment and car.
Like Pham, Vinson had also been involved in caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died of Ebola one week ago at Presbyterian. More than 70 hospital employees had been involved in that effort and are still being monitored.
So despite the epic Snafu that Tom Frieden has managed to achieve, and we fully expect that airplane travel will see a substantial decline until the Ebola pandemic is indeed contained, we will give him props for telling one piece of the truth this weekend, when he said that "more Ebola cases are likely going to emerge." At least this time, he was telling the truth.