Second Texas nurse with Ebola receiving care at Atlanta hospital

Second Texas nurse with Ebola receiving care at Atlanta hospital
Hazmat workers with Protect Environmental unload barrels in preparation for decontaminating an apartment at The Village Bend East apartment complex where a second health care worker who has tested positive for the Ebola virus resides on October 15, 2014 in Dallas, Texas.

DALLAS - The second nurse to contract Ebola in the United States was receiving care at an Atlanta hospital on Thursday, a day after the news emerged that officials did not stop her flying on a commercial flight even after she reported a slight temperature.

The nurse, 29-year-old Amber Vinson, flew from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday, a day before she was diagnosed with Ebola, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden had told reporters it was very unlikely that other passengers were infected because Vinson did not vomit and was not bleeding on the flight, but said she should not have been aboard.

But a federal source said on Wednesday that Vinson had told the CDC her temperature was 99.5 Fahrenheit (37.5 Celsius) but "was not told not to fly" because that was below the CDC's temperature threshold of 100.4F (38C).

The news was first reported by CNN.

Frieden and other officials are scheduled to testify at a congressional hearing on Thursday into the country's response to the Ebola threat.

Rising public anxiety over the virus has forced the White House to shift into crisis mode and cancel two days of political events with just three weeks to go before critical midterm elections.

Along with 26-year-old Nina Pham, her co-worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who was diagnosed with the virus over the weekend, Vinson had treated Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan. Duncan died of Ebola on Oct. 8 and was the first patient diagnosed with the disease in the United States.

Vinson had been monitoring herself for signs of infection, Frieden said.

She was isolated immediately after reporting a fever on Tuesday, state health officials said.

She was transferred by air ambulance to the specially-equipped Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Wednesday night, the hospital said in a statement. Three other people have been treated there and two have been discharged, it said.

At least 4,493 people have died in the worst Ebola outbreak since the disease was identified in 1976. The vast majority of the cases have occurred in West Africa, but the two nurses contracted the disease in Texas and one in Spain.

The virus causes hemorrhagic fever and is spread through direct contact with body fluids from an infected person, who suffers severe bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea.

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