As more and more details about Texas’ third Ebola victim, Amber Vinson, come to light, attention is turning to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which acknowledged clearing the nurse to fly even after she reported a high fever, CBS News reports.
Vinson is the second nurse from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital to contract the deadly virus, but before flying, Vinson called the CDC multiple times, saying that she had a 99.5-degree temperature.
However, according to the report, because her fever wasn’t 100.4 degrees or higher, she was not classified as “high risk” and was permitted to fly.
As a result, some schools in Texas and Ohio have remained closed on Thursday because some students and a faculty member were on the same plane as Vinson, the New York Daily News reports.
According to the Daily News, in Texas the Belton independent School District will close three schools, and some buses will be disinfected, as a precautionary measure after two students were found out to have been on Frontier Airlines Flight 1143 with the then-fever-stricken nurse.
Two unnamed students, one from North Belton Middle School and the other from Sparta Elementary, will be quarantined at home over the next 21 days.
Preschoolers from the Belton Early Childhood School are also home today, since some of those students go through Sparta on a daily basis.
“I’m frustrated that we didn’t learn until late tonight that the CDC was re-evaluating the health risk,” Belton Superintendent Susan Kincannon said in a statement, according to the report. “The health and safety of our students is my first priority.”
In Cleveland, two Solon City Schools—Solon Middle School and Parkside Elementary—will also be closed on Thursday because a teacher may have been on the same plane as Vinson.
“This circumstance came to light late in the day, and we have been working since then to get as much information as possible from public health authorities,” the district told parents in an email, the Cleveland Leader reports. “Although we believe what the science community and public health officials are telling us about the low risk of possible transmission of the virus through indirect contact, we are nonetheless taking the unusual step of closing the dual-school building for Thursday so that we can have the schools cleaned and disinfected.”
In light of fears and confusion spurred by the Texas Health Presbyterian cases, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden has acknowledged that the organization probably did not do all that could have been done to prevent the current circumstances, starting with when Liberian resident Thomas Eric Duncan first went to the hospital complaining of being sick and let it be known that he had come from the West African country, one of the disease’s epicenters.
“We could've sent a more robust hospital infection-control team and been more hands-on with the hospital from day one,” Frieden said, according to CBS. “ … I wish we had put a team like this on the ground the day the patient—the first patient—was diagnosed. That might have prevented this infection.”
“The proof of the pudding, the training, was not adequate,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said. “It was not adequate. The training was not adequate. We've got to make sure the training is adequate.”