The search for 132 potential Ebola victims has now begun in the United States after an infected nurse flew from Ohio to Dallas on a Frontier Airlines flight.
The nurse, Amber Vincent, had been treating Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, who has since died in a Dallas hospital. She was unaware that she had contracted the disease and had been visiting her mother since Friday to prepare for her wedding.
The 29-year-old is being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, and officials are now desperately trying to trace anyone who may have come into contact with her, including the 132 airline passengers on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 from Cleveland, Ohio, to Dallas, Texas on 13 October. Ms. Vincent is the second of Duncan’s nurses to have been infected by him; Nina Pham, 26, has been fighting the disease in the isolation ward of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, and was reported in good condition on Tuesday after receiving a blood transfusion from Ebola-survivor Dr Kent Brantly.
A spokesperson from the nurses’ union has reported that staff caring for Duncan were inadequately protected and had exposed skin; consequently more than 70 medical workers who are thought to be at risk of infection are now being assessed for symptoms. This unfortunate incident may now have unleashed the Ebola virus out into the American public; with an incubation period of up to 21 days, any infected persons may be still unaware that they are sick and may be potentially be going on to infect others.
The United Nation’s Ebola mission chief has expressed concerns that the world is failing to contain the virus, which has already claimed more than 4,000 victims in West Africa.