Amber Vinson is the second nurse to have been diagnosed with the Ebola virus in Dallas, Texas. With America in-fear of the deadly disease, Vinson’s travel pattern prior to her diagnosis has caused further panic.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. She Flew From Cleveland to Dallas the Day Before She Was Diagnosed
According to CBS Dallas, on October 13, Vinson flew from Cleveland to Dallas on Frontier Airlines flight 1143. The following morning Vinson went to Texas Presbyterian Hospital on the morning of October 14 with a high fever. Shortly after, she was isolated and tested for Ebola. CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said that she had temperature of 99.5 when she boarded the flight for Dallas. It later emerged that Vinson had called the CDC to ask if it was okay to travel on the flight. She was told is okay because her fever didn’t exceed 100.5 or higher.
Anybody who was on that flight is asked to contact the CDC or by phone on 800 CDC-INFO. That flight landed in Dallas at 8:16 p.m. after leaving Cleveland at 6:31 p.m. on October 13. That plane is remaining in Cleveland until further notice, reports News Net 5. The Los Angeles Times reports that the plane flew a total of five times after carrying Vinson.
According to 19 Action News anchor Lydia Esparra on Twitter, passengers were due to board the plane today are being given masks at Cleveland Airport.
According to Cleveland.com, Vinson was in Ohio visiting family in Akron.
The Daily Mail had reported that Vinson’s grandmother, Martha, lived in Ohio. Vinson was in Akron from October 8, according to the Director of Port Control Ricky Smith in Cleveland. While she was there, Vinson stayed in the small town of Tallmadge.
Frontier Airlines have continued the CDC’s line that Vinson didn’t have Ebola-like symptoms while on board the flight. The Center for Disease Control later stated that Vinson shouldn’t have traveled on a commercial airline.
2. She Was in Akron Planning Her Wedding
She’s 29 years old. NBC Dallas reports that Vinson was in Ohio to prepare for her wedding there. While she was in the Akron-area she visited with her fiance and her mother.
The Daily Mail reports that her stepfather confirmed to them that she had the virus. Her family are expected to release an official statement later. Speaking to the Mail, her stepdad said: “Right now she’s doing okay. Her temperature is going down. We don’t want to do a lot of talking about it now. She’s okay. The main concern is for her to get better.”
Dr. Mary DiOrio, the Ohio Department of Health’s epidemiologist told Cleveland.com that she didn’t know if Vinson had symptoms while she was in Ohio. Vinson lived in Akron, she’s a graduate of Firestone High School, class of 2003. Since 2012, Amber Vinson is a registered nurse in Ohio and Texas. Cleveland.com reports that she worked at Summa Akron City Hospital between 2007-12.
Her aunt, Donna Slone Rhynes, told NBC News that Vinson had wanted to be a nurse since she was a child. “She wanted to help people. Amber has always been kind and compassionate.” Rhynes’ brother was married to Vinson’s mother, Debra Berry.
Heavy.com uncovered an obituary from 1998 for a Rev. Dolphis Sloan Jr. from Akron, Ohio. The obit says he is survived by his daughter, Amber, and son, Andrew. It adds that he died after a “short illness.” In addition to his pastoral duties, Sloan worked as a chemical engineer for a company called A. Schulman.
3. She Lives Alone With No Pets
Vinson lives along Village Bend Drive, close to Texas Presbyterian hospital.
Many nurses and doctors affiliated with the hospital reside there. She lives alone and has no pets, her apartment is being quarantined. WFAA reports that the Texas government has hired an independent company, Protect Enviroment, to clean Vinson’s apartment and car. Three people have been identified as having direct contact with Vinson before her quarantine, it isn’t immediately clear if those people include her fiance and mother. According to Cleveland.com, a male relative has quarantined himself in Tallmadge, despite not being asked to.
4. She Graduated From Kent State but Didn’t Visit the Campus This Week
The Dallas Morning News reports that Vinson is a graduate of Kent State University, class of 2006, with a qualification in health. She later went to the school’s nursing college, class of 2008. The school has denied reports that Vinson visited the campus during her time in Ohio prior to her diagnosis.
WTAM in Cleveland reports that Vinson is related to three Kent State employees. Those employees have been asked not to return to the campus for 21 days out of an “abundance of caution.” Kent State’s President Beverly Warren said: “It’s important to note that the patient was not on the Kent State campus.” The school’s director of University Health Services, Dr. Angela DeJulius said:
She stayed with her family at their home in Summit County and did not step foot on our campus. We want to assure our university community that we are taking this information seriously, taking steps to communicate what we know.
Watch the statement here:
5. Nurses’ Unions Says There Are No Protocols in Place at Texas Presbyterian to Stop Workers From Getting Infected
CBS Dallas reported on the day that Vinson’s name was released that nurses unions are furious that its members have been infected with Ebola. They believe that no proper protocols were put in place to deal with the outbreak.
Like Nina Pham, who was diagnosed with Ebola a few days previous, Vinson was one of the nurses treating Thomas Eric Duncan. He died of Ebola on October 8. While caring for him, the Associated Press reports that her duties included inserting catheters and drawing blood.
Pham has been described as being in good condition. She has been given a transfusion of plasma from Dr. Kent Brantly. He was the American physician who survived the virus. It’s hoped his antibodies can help Pham fight Ebola. Amber Vinson is being flown to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emory_University_Hospital in Atlanta where Dr. Brantly was treated.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins paid tribute to Vinson, calling her an “heroic person.” The judge added that this is “a person who has dedicated their life to helping others.”