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Travel Ban Placed on All Health Workers Tied to the Ebola Case

Update Date: Oct 17, 2014 10:50 AM EDT
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The Texas Department of State Health Service announced that all health workers linked to the Ebola case in Dallas will be banned from traveling via planes, trains, buses and ships.

The officials added that these workers will not be allowed to go to any public populated areas, such as the grocery store, restaurants and the theaters for at least 21 days since they came into contact with the patient or until the ban is lifted and the danger of Ebola has subsided.

More than 70 health care workers are affected by this ban. These workers had entered the room where patient Thomas Erik Duncan, the first case of Ebola on U.S. soil, was being cared for. Duncan died from the infection on Oct. 8 at Texas Presbyterian Hospital. Since then, two nurses that were on his case, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson have tested positive for the virus.

These new regulations came shortly after officials discovered that Vinson, 29, had flown to Cleveland and back despite suffering from a low-grade fever at 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Since the temperature threshold for Ebola fever is at 100.4 degrees, Vinson was allowed to travel according to airport rules.

After tests confirmed Ebola, Vinson was transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA. Pham, 26, was moved to the National Institute of Health hospital in Bethesda, MD.

The remaining health care workers have complied with the new rules and signed a written acknowledgement. Prior to the travel ban, the workers were instructed to self-monitor for signs of an infection. A copy of the state mandate that was sent out to the workers can be found here.

The Ebola epidemic has killed nearly 4,500 people. Officials are expecting the total number of confirmed cases to reach 10,000.

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