Family: Amber Vinson, 2nd Nurse to Contract Ebola, Did Not Fly Recklessly

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Amber Vinson did not knowingly endanger passengers during a Frontier Airlines flight, her family members insist, and they have hired a lawyer to help fight such allegations, the New York Daily News reports.

"In no way was Amber careless prior to or after her exposure to Mr. Thomas Eric Duncan," the family said in a statement. "She has not and would not knowingly expose herself or anyone else."


D.C. attorney Billy Martin, who has represented Monica Lewinsky's mother and Michael Vick, will advise the family, the Daily News notes.

Vinson was one of the nurses who helped treat "patient zero" Thomas Eric Duncan, who came from Liberia to Texas with the disease, becoming the first person to be diagnosed inside the U.S. He was treated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

Before Vinson was known to have the disease, another nurse, Nina Pham, was diagnosed with the deadly virus two days after Duncan's death. According to Vinson's family, after hearing about Pham, Vinson tried to take extra precautions.

She heard about her colleague while she was already in Cleveland for a friend's wedding.


"During this conversation, Amber, unsettled by the news of Ms. Pham, asked if arrangements could be made […] to fly her back to Dallas on Sunday as a precaution," the family said. "Amber was particularly concerned considering that Ms. Pham, being a capable nurse who followed the same Dallas county mandates, had become infected."

According to the Daily News, Dallas County health officials told Vinson there was nothing to worry about if she did not come down with a fever, and so she returned back to Dallas on Oct. 13—three days after Pham fell ill—after reporting her temperature three times before boarding.


"Suggestions that she ignored any of the physician and government-provided protocols recommended to her are patently untrue and hurtful," the family insisted in its statement.

Since her return to Dallas and official diagnosis on Oct. 15, Vinson has been transferred to Emory University in Atlanta.


Read more at the New York Daily News.

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