NEW YORK (AP/WAVY) — The night before she was diagnosed with Ebola, a Texas nurse flew back to the Dallas area from Cleveland, according to health officials who are now trying to contact the other passengers.
The woman is the second nurse apparently infected with Ebola while caring for a Liberian man who died of the disease last Wednesday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
The unidentified nurse flew to Cleveland on Friday, the same day a colleague, nurse Nina Pham, was hospitalized. Pham’s diagnosis with Ebola was disclosed on Sunday.
The second nurse returned to Texas on Monday on Frontier Airlines Flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas-Fort Worth with 132 other passengers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The airplane’s crew said she had no symptoms of Ebola during her return flight on Monday. But Tuesday morning she developed a fever and on Tuesday night tested positive for Ebola.
Infected Ebola patients are not considered contagious until they have symptoms. But the CDC is asking passengers on Monday’s flight to call the health agency so they can be monitored.
The flight landed in Dallas at 8:16 p.m. Monday, stayed there overnight, and underwent a thorough cleaning before returning to service the next day. The cleaning was consistent with CDC guidelines, according to a Frontier Airlines statement released by CDC officials.
The health worker’s flight to Cleveland last week happened far enough in advance of her symptoms that the CDC sees no need to contact passengers on that earlier flight, said Barbara Reynolds, a CDC spokeswoman.
Health officials did not immediately release the reason for her trip or where she visited in the Cleveland area. The CDC notified the airline Wednesday morning.
The CDC is asking passengers on the Monday flight to call 1-800-CDC INFO (1-800-232-4636).
Frontier Airlines released the following statement Wednesday:
At approximately 1:00 a.m. MT on October 15, Frontier was notified by the CDC that a customer traveling on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on Oct. 13 has since tested positive for the Ebola virus. The flight landed in Dallas/Fort Worth at 8:16 p.m. local and remained overnight at the airport having completed its flying for the day at which point the aircraft received a thorough cleaning per our normal procedures which is consistent with CDC guidelines prior to returning to service the next day. It was also cleaned again in Cleveland last night. Previously the customer had traveled from Dallas Fort Worth to Cleveland on Frontier flight 1142 on October 10. Customer exhibited no symptoms or sign of illness while on flight 1143, according to the crew. Frontier responded immediately upon notification from the CDC by removing the aircraft from service and is working closely with CDC to identify and contact customers who may traveled on flight 1143. Customers who may have traveled on either flight should contact CDC at 1 800 CDC-INFO. 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.
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