In caring for Thomas Duncan, the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, hospital workers violated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning protective gear and travel, potentially putting more individuals at risk of infection.
The nurse who was most recently diagnosed with Ebola traveled on a small Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland to Dallas with 132 passengers on Monday, prompting health officials to begin reaching out to every passenger and crew member on the airplane. Her temperature was elevated before she traveled, but at 99.5 degrees, it did not meet the threshold for isolation. She began exhibiting Ebola symptoms the day she arrived in Dallas and was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where she works.
The nurse "should not have traveled on a commercial airline" after being with Duncan, CDC Director Thomas Frieden said Wednesday. Doing so was in violation of CDC's travel guidelines, which stipulate that anybody potentially exposed to the virus should travel under "controlled movement." Flying commercially—or getting on any public transportation at all—is not allowed under the agency's controlled-movement rules.