Ebola-Surviving Nurse Amber Vinson Blames Cleanup Crew for Destroying Her Engagement Ring

Amber Vinson became infected after treating an Ebola patient in Dallas.

ByABC News
November 7, 2014, 11:25 AM

— -- A Dallas nurse who survived Ebola says she is not only recovering from the illness but also from losing her engagement ring after it was destroyed in an effort to stop the deadly virus from spreading.

Amber Vinson, 29, told CNN her engagement ring and wedding binder used to plan her nuptials were destroyed by cleanup crews after she was infected.

"We've got to rebuild," she told CNN Thursday.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said he believes there was no medical reason to destroy the ring because it could be easily disinfected.

Amber Vinson, seen here in this June 22, 2014, photo, was planning for her upcoming wedding when she was diagnosed with Ebola in October2014.

"All you have to do is drop it in a little bleach or any household disinfectant…Any household cleanser; that would destroy the Ebola virus," Schaffner told ABC News today, adding that destroying the ring went "way overboard."

"It sends the wrong public health message," he said, "as though the engagement ring could be vehicle for the Ebola virus."

Cleanup crews were contracted through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which was coordinating with state agencies such as the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The Texas Department of State Health Services did not have an immediate response to Vinson’s comment.

Vinson's ring wasn't the only casualty during the cleanup. Frontier Airlines had to pull out carpet and seats from the plane on which Vinson traveled from Cleveland to Dallas after airline officials learned Vinson was infected.

A bridal store that Vinson had visited closed temporarily after the owners realized the nurse had visited with her bridesmaids days before her diagnosis.

The nurse was planning her upcoming wedding when she treated an Ebola patient at a Dallas hospital and then became infected herself. Vinson was criticized by some people for traveling home to Cleveland to visit family and plan her wedding.

No one who came into contact with Vinson in Ohio or Texas has shown any Ebola symptoms. The virus is spread through close contact and bodily fluids, including blood, sweat and urine.

People are only contagious after they have exhibited symptoms of the disease.