The second nurse who has been diagnosed with Ebola told the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention she had a slightly elevated temperature prior to flying to Dallas from Cleveland, Ohio, but wasn't "told she couldn't fly" since she didn't meet the threshold for a fever, a CDC official told ABC News.
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Amber Vinson, 29, a nurse at the Dallas hospital where an Ebola patient had died, was identified today as the second health care worker at the hospital to contract the deadly virus. She told the CDC her temperature was 99.5 degrees, which is below the 100.4 reading for a fever.
"She flew into Cleveland to prepare for her wedding. She came in to visit her mother and her mother’s fiance," said Toinette Parrilla, director of Cleveland Department of Public Health.
Vinson stayed at her relatives' home while visiting Ohio and those relatives are employees of Kent State University, the school said in a statement.
"She did not step foot on our campus," Kent State President Beverly Warren said.
The relatives were sent home from the school and asked to monitor themselves for the next 21 days, school officials said.
Vinson went on her trip after being one of the nurses who was very involved with the care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of Ebola at the Dallas hospital. She drew his blood, inserted catheters, and dealt with his bodily fluids, according to Duncan's medical records obtained by the Associated Press.
Vinson arrived in Cleveland on Friday Oct. 10 and returned to Dallas on the evening of Monday Oct. 13. She was diagnosed with a fever, which is considered to be the first symptom of the disease, on Tuesday Oct. 14. She was tested and her diagnosis was confirmed late Tuesday.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention addressed the fact that while she was not ordered into protective custody by the time she traveled, he did suggest that it was a mistake for her to do so.
"Because at that point she was in a group of individuals known to have exposure to Ebola, she should not have traveled on a commercial airline," CDC Director Tom Frieden said today.
The CDC reiterated, however, that they released her flight data out of an abundance of caution since she would not be contagious until she began showing symptoms.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said this morning that she was dealing with her diagnosis "with grit and grace."
Vinson will be transferred from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Emory successfully treated both missionaries who were the first two Americans to be diagnosed with Ebola, Dr. Kent Brantley and nurse Nancy Writebol. They are also treating a third individual, a World Health Organization worker who has never been identified, who was admitted to Emory on Sept. 9.