The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now asking airline passengers who flew from Dallas to Cleveland on Oct. 10 with Ebola patient Amber Joy Vinson aboard Frontier Airlines flight 1142 to contact the agency about possible exposure to the deadly disease.
The expanded outreach is based on information obtained from interviews with close contacts of Vinson. The move apparently suggests the Dallas nurse may have been symptomatic prior to the morning of Oct. 14, when she reported to Dallas Presbyterian Hospital with a high fever and later tested positive for Ebola.
The CDC had originally asked only passengers on Vinson's return flight from Cleveland, Frontier Airlines flight 1143 on Oct. 13, to contact the agency about possible exposure to the virus.
Now passengers on Vinson's departing flight from Dallas to Cleveland and her return flight from Cleveland to Dallas are asked to call 1 800-CDC INFO (1 800 232-4636).
Public health officials will interview passengers about the flights, answer their questions, and arrange follow up if warranted. Individuals who are determined to be at any potential risk of exposure will be actively monitored.
Officials stress that Ebola is spread only through direct contact with blood or body fluids of an infected person, who can be dead or alive. Hospital-grade disinfectants, like household bleach, will kill the virus.
Frontier Airlines, which is cooperating with the expanded outreach, thoroughly cleaned the plane consistent with CDC guidelines, the agency said.