The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s efforts to assuage fears over the Ebola virus in the US were undermined overnight when a second healthcare worker in Texas was diagnosed with the disease.
Reuters reported the identity of the second infected nurse as Amber Vinson. The Wall Street Journal said she helped to treat Thomas Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas after he was diagnosed with the first case of Ebola in the US.
Vinson reportedly flew to Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport last Friday and left the airport on Monday after visiting her family, according to an ABC News affiliate in the city. She was reportedly not visibly ill at the time.
The CDC used Twitter, among other methods, on Wednesday to ask all passengers on the flight to call a toll-free number. It also linked to a press release on the topic prominently on its homepage.
CDC is asking all 132 passengers on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 from CLE to DFW on 10/13 to call 1-800-CDC-INFO: http://t.co/FVa0P8pjpM
— CDC (@CDCgov) October 15, 2014
Nina Pham, a 26-year-old nurse was also diagnosed with Ebola and is being treated in Dallas. The Journal reported that health officials there do not know how she was infected, "and have said she was wearing a mask, gown, shield, and gloves when treating Duncan."
On Twitter, "Cleveland to Dallas" was a trending topic in the US before noon, only to be replaced by "Ebola in Cleveland," though no cases have been confirmed there.
Cleveland tense. Ebola nurse travelled through Hopkins International. Visited mother in #Akron.— sanreddy (@sanreddy) October 15, 2014
The president canceled his travel plans to New Jersey and Connecticut on Wednesday.
WH: POTUS travel to NJ and CT postponed for meeting with cabinet officials working on Ebola outbreak. Obama will make remarks.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) October 15, 2014
On Tuesday, CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said "rapid response teams" will be part of the department’s response "within hours" of new confirmed cases of Ebola in the US.
Meanwhile, 8,400 cases have been reported worldwide – the majority in West Africa – with 4,656 cases. The virus has reportedly killed 4,033 people as of last Wednesday, according to the CDC.