A Coast Guard helicopter met a cruise ship in the Caribbean today to collect a blood sample today from the Dallas health care worker who handled clinical specimens from an Ebola-infected patient and is on board the boat, which is scheduled to dock Sunday morning.
The lab worker remained on the boat, the Carnival Magic, according to a statement from Carnival.
"Today we were advised by Texas health officials that they felt it was necessary for the health care worker currently on Carnival Magic to submit a blood sample for testing prior to the ship's arrival in Galveston tomorrow [Sunday] morning," Carnival said in a statement.
"As a result, a helicopter rendezvoused with the ship late this afternoon to facilitate the transfer of the sample," the cruise line said. "At this time Carnival Magic is expected to arrive tomorrow [Sunday] morning as scheduled."
The Dallas health care worker has been self-quarantined on the ship and was being monitored for signs of infection, the State Department said in a statement Friday.
The unidentified female worker departed on a cruise ship from Galveston, Texas, Oct. 12 and was out of the country before being notified of active monitoring required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the government statement.
The monitoring was established as two nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, tested positive for Ebola.
The hospital worker on the Carnival Magic cruise ship did not have direct contact with patient Thomas Eric Duncan, but may have had contact with his clinical specimens, authorities said. The employee, who has not been publicly identified, has not had a fever or demonstrated any symptoms of illness, authorities said.
Carnival Cruise Line released a statement Friday acknowledging the situation, stating that the hospital employee was deemed to be "very low risk" to contract the deadly virus.
Pham arrived in Maryland Thursday to receive treatment at the National Institute of Health's Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Meanwhile, Vinson was at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, listed in stable condition, her relatives said.
Federal officials say Vinson may have had Ebola symptoms Oct. 10, the day she flew on a passenger plane from Dallas to Cleveland. As a result, passengers on her Oct. 10 flight will also be monitored, authorities announced.