Federal health officials said Wednesday that a second Dallas health-care worker who tested positive for Ebola "should not have traveled on a commercial flight" with 132 other passengers from Cleveland to Dallas just a day before being diagnosed.
All of those passengers on that Frontier Airlines flight Monday were asked to immediately contact the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for possible monitoring, as officials also announced that the new patient will be transported later Wednesday to a hospital in Atlanta for treatment.
The new patient was identified by Cleveland's public health director as Amber Vinson, a 29-year-old nurse. The director also said Vinson had traveled to Cleveland from Dallas on Oct. 8—the same day that that the patient who infected her, Thomas Eric Duncan, died in Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
Vinson traveled to Ohio to prepare for her upcoming wedding and to visit her mom and fiancé, the official said. Medical records obtained by the Associated Press show that Vinson's extensive care for Duncan included inserting catheters, drawing blood and dealing with his bodily fluids.
Officials are monitoring three people Vinson had contact with before she was isolated Tuesday. Health officials in Summit County, Ohio said, "Family members are cooperative and self-quarantining in their home"
CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said Vinson should not have take any public transportation including the flight because she had had contact with Duncan at her hospital, and because her temperature was a slightly elevated 99.5 degrees before she boarded Monday's flight from Cleveland.
However, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins later said that CDC never told Texas Health Presbyterian to instruct its staff who had dealt with Duncan not to travel.
Vinson went to the hospital with a low-grade fever on Tuesday morning, according to the CDC.
She is the second health-care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas to be diagnosed with Ebola after having cared for the Liberian national Duncan. The other current patient there was a nurse for Duncan, 26-year-old Nina Pham, who is stable condition.
Frieden said that the risk of the woman having infected another person on the flight Monday is "extremely low" because of the difficulty in transmitting Ebola, and because she had no symptoms or fever.
Vinson "will be transported" to Emory University hospital in Atlanta from Dallas later Wednesday "as a result of a clinical decision," said U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell.
Vinson was not named by Burwell, Frieden or health officials in Texas when they discussed her case.