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Live Updates: Ebola In The U.S.

The latest from BuzzFeed News on the Texas Ebola cases and what officials are doing about the outbreak.

What We Know So Far

• Dallas County Judge confirmed 43 of 48 contacts of Thomas Eric Duncan were cleared of Ebola risk Monday. • Defense officials announced Sunday a plan to train a 30-person team to respond to any future Ebola emergencies in the U.S. • The government of Canada is sending 800 vials of an experimental Ebola vaccine to the World Health Organization (WHO) starting on Monday, Oct. 20. • President Obama named a longtime Democratic operative as "Ebola czar." • Federal officials on Friday said Nina Pham, the first nurse infected with Ebola, is in "fair" condition at a Maryland hospital. • The second infected nurse, Amber Vinson, has been transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

Updates

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The CDC on Monday released new guidelines on protective gear for hospital workers treating patients for Ebola.

Under the guidelines, healthcare workers should receive hands-on training of how to safely put on and take off the personal protective equipment. Any time a hospital worker takes the gear on or off, they should be supervised, the CDC said.

"Even a single healthcare worker infection is unacceptable," CDC Director Thomas Frieden said.

The new guidelines also call for all skin to be covered, including a person's face. Frieden said officials weren't worried about airborne transmission of the virus, which can only be transmitted through bodily fluids. Instead, he said the precaution would protect healthcare workers from any fluids sent their way in the intensive care that can be expected in a U.S. hospital. It would also protect workers from any chance contamination, such as unconsciously touching their face with dirty gloves.

"That made people nervous," Frieden said.

Other changes aim to prepare all healthcare workers to identify potential Ebola patients by asking their travel history if they are showing symptoms of fever or infection. In future confirmed cases, patients will be immediately transferred to hospitals prepared for specialized care.

The changes to the guidelines reflected the challenging nature of the virus as well as the differences in U.S. hospital care from standards of Ebola treatment in Africa.

"It is truly unprecedented here," Frieden said.

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At the end of the day Monday, about 116 people were still being monitored for Ebola in the Dallas area, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (SHS).

Christine Mann, a spokeswoman for SHS, also told BuzzFeed News that 51 people had finished the monitoring process by Monday and were no longer being watched for Ebola.

Numbers provided earlier Monday had indicated that only 43 people had completed the monitoring process.

The updated numbers do not include several people who were on flights with nurse Amber Vinson, Mann said. It was not immediately clear how many former passengers were being monitored.

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The anonymous patient being treated for Ebola at Emory University in Atlanta has been discharged, declared Ebola free.

NEW: Unnamed Ebola patient released from Emory University Hospital, now free of the virus, hospital says

NBC Nightly News@NBCNightlyNewsFollow

NEW: Unnamed Ebola patient released from Emory University Hospital, now free of the virus, hospital says

4:02 PM - 20 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Texas nurses who contracted Ebola are described as "heroes."

As of Monday, 120 are people still being monitored for Ebola in the Dallas area, County Judge Clay Jenkins said. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings added that everyone on that list will be cleared on Nov. 7.

Both men spoke during a news conference where they painted a cautious but optimistic picture of how the city has coped with the so-called Ebola crisis.

"This I believe is a defining moment for Dallas," Jenkins said. "The world is watching."

When asked about the condition of nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson — who became ill after treating Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Rawlings said that they have been able to communicate with friends and family through FaceTime. Officials also did not answer questions about Pham's boyfriend, who is rumored to be on a watch list after developing symptoms.

Jenkins also described both nurses as "heroes," noting in particular that Vinson "did nothing wrong." The comment was significant because Vinson has been criticized for flying to Cleveland and back just before her Ebola diagnosis.

Pastor George Mason spoke Monday about Louise Troh, who is engaged to Duncan and was released from quarantine Monday. Troh has handled it "with extreme grace," Mason said. He added that Troh recognizes that mistakes were made — an apparent reference to Duncan's initial misdiagnosis — but doesn't "blame" the hospital.

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Ebola patient Amber Vinson's family has retained a high-profile attorney, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The family also said they have retained attorney Billy Martin, a veteran of numerous high-profile cases. He represented NFL star Michael Vick during his dogfighting case, actor Wesley Snipes during his tax case, the parents of federal intern Chandra Levy after her disappearance and the mother of former White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky during the sex-and-perjury investigation of President Clinton.

On Sunday, the family of Vinson, a Texas nurse, said she spoke with federal and state authorities before she took two flights shortly after coming into contact with virus victim Thomas Eric Duncan.

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Of the 48 people originally being monitored for Ebola after coming into contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, 43 have rolled off the watch list and are free of the virus, Jenkins said in a press conference Monday.

A 44th person is expected to roll off the list this morning. Four other healthcare workers will be cleared a later time.

Five children who rolled off the watch list are returning to school on Tuesday. Jenkins said there is "zero risk" that any of them have Ebola because the 21-day period for them to contract the disease has lapsed.

Jenkins asked the community for love, compassion and help in integrating these people back to the community. "Treat them as if you would want your own family to be treated," he said.

In all, 120 people are still being monitored.

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Dozens of people in Texas were cleared after monitoring for Ebola.

The New York Times reported that about 50 people possibly exposed to the bodily fluids of Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of the virus, were cleared by health officials after the 21-day monitoring period.

Mr. Duncan's fiancée, Louise Troh, who nursed him in their cramped apartment while he suffered from diarrhea and who was put under state-ordered quarantine, was set to be declared Ebola-free by officials at the end of Sunday. So, too, were the paramedics who drove an ailing Mr. Duncan to a hospital and health care workers who drew or processed his blood. And a mandatory quarantine was lifted for a homeless man who later rode in the same ambulance as Mr. Duncan before it was disinfected.

Family members of Amber Vinson, a nurse that treated Duncan and contracted the disease, said Sunday that federal officials cleared her to board an her Oct. 10 plane from Dallas to Cleveland, the Times reported. County health officials then cleared her to get on an Oct. 13 return flight after she reported her temperature to them three times.

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Defense officials announced Sunday a plan to train a 30-person team to respond to any future Ebola emergencies in the U.S.

The team of 20 critical care nurses as well as five doctors and five trainers with infectious disease backgrounds is expected to be ready for specialized military training within the next week. Training could take up to seven days, and the team will then be on-call for the next 30 days to respond wherever they're needed in the U.S., a Department of Defense statement said.

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The fiancée of Thomas Eric Duncan released a statement Sunday as the family prepared to end their three-week quarantine. None of them have shown any signs of illness.

#BREAKING: here is statement from Louise Troh #ebola

Lauren Zakalik@wfaalaurenFollow

#BREAKING: here is statement from Louise Troh #ebola

12:59 PM - 19 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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A Spanish nurse who was the first person to get Ebola outside of Africa has beaten the disease, and is now healthy, reported AFP.

A source from the Madrid hospital where 44-year-old Teresa Romero was being treated for Ebola told AFP on Sunday that test results show Romero is now Ebola-free.

"Three tests carried out today, including that on (the nurse), are negative," said the source.

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The cruise ship carrying a Dallas healthcare worker who was being monitored for Ebola docked in Galveston, Texas on Sunday, where the woman tested negative for the disease, Carnival Cruise Lines said.

Stringer/Mexico / Reuters

A Mexican port authority denied the ship clearance to dock to avoid any possible risk from Ebola.

The woman had spent a week on The Carnival Magic ship, which was denied docking from the governments of Belize and Mexico, due to the presence of the health care worker on board the ship.

The woman works at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital where Thomas Eric Duncan, the first U.S. Ebola patient, was treated and later died from the disease. The woman on board the ship did not have direct contact with Duncan, but was thought to be at risk because she may have handled some of his test samples.

Two other nurses who treated Duncan directly have contracted the disease.

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The hospital where Thomas Eric Duncan was treated for Ebola, and two nurses treating him were diagnosed with the virus, is publishing an open letter to the community. The letter says the hospital is bringing in "outside expertise" to figure out how two nurses became sick.

And this: theories & allegations presented in the media do not align with the facts stated in the medical records/accounts of caregivers

Jim Dalrymple II@JimDalrympleIIFollow

And this: theories & allegations presented in the media do not align with the facts stated in the medical records/accounts of caregivers

11:14 PM - 18 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

I've asked the hospital if they plan to release medical records to clear up the apparently inaccurate reports. Will update when I hear back.

Jim Dalrymple II@JimDalrympleIIFollow

I've asked the hospital if they plan to release medical records to clear up the apparently inaccurate reports. Will update when I hear back.

11:19 PM - 18 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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A guy who lives in the same apartment complex where Thomas Duncan was staying showed me the Ebola flyer he received

Jim Dalrymple II@JimDalrympleIIFollow

A guy who lives in the same apartment complex where Thomas Duncan was staying showed me the Ebola flyer he received

6:57 PM - 18 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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In this picture from the Dallas light rail station you can see a guy in blue containment clothing.

Jim Dalrymple II@JimDalrympleIIFollow

In this picture from the Dallas light rail station you can see a guy in blue containment clothing.

3:45 PM - 18 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

A Dallas bus and train station was closed on Saturday after a report that a woman was ill.

The woman who got sick at the light rail station apparently had a low grade fever & may live by the 1st Ebola patient http://t.co/ehG1xZRakU

Jim Dalrymple II@JimDalrympleIIFollow

The woman who got sick at the light rail station apparently had a low grade fever & may live by the 1st Ebola patient http://t.co/ehG1xZRakU

3:49 PM - 18 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Later officials said the woman was not on a watchlist for possible exposure to Ebola.

A spokesperson for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), Morgan Lyons, said that the woman developed a low-grade fever at the Northeast Dallas station. Her quarantine period had ended, and she had not been on the Ebola watch list, according to an email sent by Lyons.

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Canada is sending 800 vials of an experimental Ebola vaccine to the World Health Organization, the Canadian government announced on Saturday.

Handout / Reuters

Scientists at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, Manitoba, prepare an experimental Ebola vaccine for shipment to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva in this undated handout picture released Oct. 18.

The Government of Canada announced in a statement on Saturday that it was planning to send 800 vials of an experimental Ebola vaccine to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. The first shipment will be sent on Monday, Oct. 20, and two other shipments will follow.

Canada's Public Health Agency is supplying the vaccine to the WHO in an effort to make the vaccine available internationally. WHO will then work with health authorities in all countries affected by Ebola to determine how the vaccine is distributed.

Because the vaccine is still in an experimental stage, the Canadian government says there are "both ethical and logistical challenges with the use of experimental vaccines and treatments in humans and the WHO is considering them carefully before using the vaccine in this outbreak."

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Patient in Dallas is tested for Ebola.

Baylor University Medical Center gave BuzzFeed News the following statement:

A patient presented at Baylor University Medical Center Thursday evening reporting Ebola symptoms and indicated contact with someone with the disease. The patient was transferred within hours to Texas Health Presbyterian as directed by the Dallas County Health Department.

Upon arrival to Baylor University Medical Center, the patient entered the hospital through a private entrance. That entrance was then closed, and the patient was immediately isolated. While again, there is no confirmation this patient is infected with Ebola, we are following all CDC disease-containment guidelines.

Also, Alcon Associates sent the following to its employees. No word on whether there is a connection between the two cases.

Also a guy who had "contact w/ the health care worker" w/ Ebola is being monitored. His boss sent this letter yestrdy

Jim Dalrymple II@JimDalrympleIIFollow

Also a guy who had "contact w/ the health care worker" w/ Ebola is being monitored. His boss sent this letter yestrdy

5:20 PM - 17 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Texas officials ask all healthcare workers who treated the first U.S. Ebola patient, Eric Thomas Duncan, to avoid public places, the New York Times reports.

According to a memo from David Lackey, Commissioner, Texas Departement of State Health Services, all healthcare workers who had contact with Duncan are being asked to avoid restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, and other places where crowds congregate.

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Sections of the Pentagon parking lot and an entrance to the building were cordoned off after a woman on a shuttle bus fell ill and began vomiting. She revealed to first responders she had recently been to Africa, triggering an emergencey response.

"Out of an abundance of caution, all pedestrian and vehicular traffic was suspended around the South Parking lot, while Arlington County responded to the scene," said Defense Department Spokesman Lt. Col. Tom Crosson, according to Military.com.

The Washington Post reports the woman had specifically been to West Africa, flashpoint of the current epidemic, but that there is currently no evidence she contracted Ebola.

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The appointment of Klain, most recently in public service as the chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, follows weeks of debate about whether the White House should appoint a senior official to lead the central effort against Ebola. A Beltway insider who served as chief of staff to Vice Presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden, Klain is not a health care expert — but he is a political one. ...

Those that served with him praised what they said was a tenacious spirit and, most importantly, a deep understanding of how the levers of power work. As Ebola czar, Klain will be involved in coordinating a vast bureaucratic response to Ebola domestically and abroad — but it will also entail shoring up public perceptions of the White House's Ebola response, particularly after a series of public missteps by the CDC.

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American Airlines crew reportedly locked a Texas passenger in plane's bathroom for 45 minutes after she vomited, fearing Ebola spread.

A University of Texas professor who was on the same flight told the Houston Chronicle that after the woman in her 40s vomited in the aisle, crew told her to stay in the bathroom. "We can't let you out," they told the woman.

The woman was locked in the bathroom for 45 minutes until the plane landed in Chicago and was taken away by emergency personnel.

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Ebola patient Nina Pham's condition is "fair and stable."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Health in Maryland where Pham is now being treated said her "condition is fair, she is stable and resting comfortably" at a press conference Friday.

"We fully intend to have this patient walk out of this hospital," Fauci said.

He said Pham is "very fatigued" but her condition has not worsened.

Pham is eating and interacting freely with hospital staff, Fauci said.

"She's in good spirits...she's a terrific person," he said.

Pham's mother and sister are in the area to support her.

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The President has named a new point person on the U.S Ebola response, CNN reported:

#CNN: #Breaking: #Obama "Ebola Czar" will be Ron Klain, sources tell @jaketapper

AnneClaire Stapleton@AnneClaireCNNFollow

#CNN: #Breaking: #Obama "Ebola Czar" will be Ron Klain, sources tell @jaketapper

10:11 AM - 17 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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A Dallas health worker who handled samples relating to deceased Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan is on board a Caribbean cruise ship, where she has self-quarantined and is being monitored for infection, the New York Times reported.

Courtesy Gail Burnett via Detroit Free Press / MCT

A file image shows a balcony view from a cruise ship in the western Caribbean.

The U.S. State Department released a statement saying the employee in question had been asymptomatic for 19 days, and had no direct contact with Duncan.

MT @jeneps: Statement from @statedeptspox: Dallas medical worker potentially exposed to Ebola is now on a cruise ship

BuzzFeed News@BuzzFeedNewsFollow

MT @jeneps: Statement from @statedeptspox: Dallas medical worker potentially exposed to Ebola is now on a cruise ship

12:10 PM - 17 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The Belize government released a statement saying it had been contacted by U.S. government officials, and been made aware of a cruise ship off its shores containing the passenger.

facebook.com

The statement said although the passenger had a "very low risk" of Ebola, Belize had declined a request to help the U.S. government evacuate the individual via a Belize City airport.

They said the passenger had "never set foot in Belize."

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Frontier Airlines is notifying up to 800 passengers who may have been linked to flights Ebola-infected nurse took between Dallas and Cleveland, CNN reported.

Frontier Airlines is also reaching out to passengers who were on the five following flights using the planes boarded by Vinson, as well as ones she boarded herself.

The airline said passengers linked to Vinson's flights include those aboard her flights between Dallas and Cleveland on Oct. 10 and Oct. 15, plus the five subsequent flights using those planes, CNN reported.

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Nurse Nina Pham arrived in Maryland just before 11 p.m. ET Thursday. She will continue treatment in a high-level containment unit at the National Institutes of Health.

NOW: Ambulance, medical personnel await Nina Pham in Maryland

Meredith Land@MeredithNBC5Follow

NOW: Ambulance, medical personnel await Nina Pham in Maryland

7:50 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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The CDC expanded its search Thursday for passengers who flew with Amber Vinson, a Dallas nurse who has Ebola.

Officials previously sought passengers of Frontier Airlines' flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday. Now, officials are also asking passengers who flew on Frontier Airlines Flight 1142 from Dallas to Cleveland on Oct. 10 to get in touch.

Anyone on either flight with Vinson is asked to call 800-CDC INFO. Public health workers will interview travelers to determine who may be at risk and need monitoring.

Crews on Thursday cleaned Vinson's apartment as she was treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

Cleaning trucks currently at the apt of the 2nd Dallas nurse with Ebola. The area is blocked off w/ police tape

Jim Dalrymple II@JimDalrympleIIFollow

Cleaning trucks currently at the apt of the 2nd Dallas nurse with Ebola. The area is blocked off w/ police tape

2:51 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Crews just finished processing the apartment of the 2nd Dallas nurse w/ Ebola, management told residents in an email

Jim Dalrymple II@JimDalrympleIIFollow

Crews just finished processing the apartment of the 2nd Dallas nurse w/ Ebola, management told residents in an email

6:10 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Texas Health released a video of nurse Nina Pham preparing to leave her home state for continuing Ebola treatment at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

It was the first video of the 26-year-old since she contracted the virus. Hospital staff thanked her for volunteering to treat the first U.S. Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan.

"I love you guys," she said through tears to her coworkers.

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President Barack Obama said Thursday evening he did not believe a travel ban would be effective in preventing the spread of Ebola.

The President said he did not have a "philosophical" objection to limiting travel for the protection of Americans, but experts had told him that an outright ban could prompt potential patients to conceal their illness and avoid treatment.

"As a consequence, we could end up having more cases instead of less," he said.

He added it might be appropriate to name a point person, or Ebola czar, for the U.S. response. So far, he said federal authorities were working to coordinate with local government and public health workers in Texas and Ohio to ensure resources are available. The U.S. would also continue to work with other countries to address the outbreak at its source in West Africa, he said.

The U.S. is likely to face more Ebola false alarms over coming weeks, he added, particularly as flu season begins. He stressed the Ebola virus could only be transmitted by contact with body fluids of an infected person.

"We're taking this seriously," he said, "but this is something that's really hard to catch."

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Coworkers of Ebola patient and nurse Nina Pham lined up Thursday afternoon to send her off. She was planned to be moved to the National Institutes of Health in Maryland for continued care.

Employees at Texas Health Dallas show support for Nina as her ambulance leaves for Love Field #SupportTheScrubs

TexasHealthResources@texashealthFollow

Employees at Texas Health Dallas show support for Nina as her ambulance leaves for Love Field #SupportTheScrubs

3:47 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

A crowd waits to show support for Nina Pham when she departs for Love Field #SupportTheScrubs

TexasHealthResources@texashealthFollow

A crowd waits to show support for Nina Pham when she departs for Love Field #SupportTheScrubs

3:49 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Yale-New Haven Hospital released a statement saying it will continue to monitor the student who tested negative for Ebola.

We have received preliminary notification that the patient admitted to Yale-New Haven Hospital late last night has tested negative for Ebola. Due to an overabundance of caution, before we fully rule it out, we will wait for the CDC official confirmation of the test result. In the meantime we will continue to monitor the patient using all appropriate protocols and precautions in order to ensure the safety of our staff, patients and community.

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President Obama makes the National Guard and military reserves available, if necessary, to combat Ebola in West Africa:

From the executive order:

I hereby determine that it is necessary to augment the active Armed Forces of the United States for the effective conduct of Operation United Assistance, which is providing support to civilian-led humanitarian assistance and consequence management support related to the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa.

President Obama also sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner notifying him of the order.

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The Yale student does not have Ebola, Hartford Courant reports:

Preliminary test results for patient with Ebola-like systems at Yale-New Haven Hospital have come back negative. Story to come.

Hartford Courant@hartfordcourantFollow

Preliminary test results for patient with Ebola-like systems at Yale-New Haven Hospital have come back negative. Story to come.

4:38 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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A Yale University student who recently returned from Liberia was admitted to a New Haven hospital with Ebola-like symptoms.

The patient was admitted at Yale-New Haven Hospital late Wednesday with a fever and other symptoms associated with Ebola. The graduate student in epidemiology is stable but has been placed in isolation, hospital officials said.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said at a news briefing Thursday that there is no confirmation the patient has the virus.

"I'm not sure it's Ebola," Malloy said. "If it is, we'll handle it. If it isn't, I think it was a great test run for a particular hospital – and maybe we need to have those kind of tests done at all of our hospitals."

Samples from the patient are being tested in Boston. Preliminary results are expected within the next 24 hours.

The student travelled to Liberia to advise the local government on using computers to combat Ebola, Reuters reported. A second student who also went to Liberia has not been hospitalized.

Yale University originally asked the two students to quarantine themselves for 21 days, which is the virus' incubation period. The school later reversed its decision, the Yale Daily News reported.

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Nina Pham, the first Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola, has released a statement through Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

"I'm so thankful for the outpouring of love and support from friends and family, my coworkers and complete strangers. I feel very blessed, and have gained strength from their support. I appreciate everything that my coworkers have done to care for me at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. I'm doing really well thanks to this team, which is the best in the world. I believe in my talented coworkers. I am #presbyproud!"

The hospital said in statement Thursday that Pham will be transferred to the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, to continue her treatment, calling it "the right decision."

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Tom Frieden, the CDC director, said that banning travel from infected countries in West Africa to the U.S. would hinder, not help, combating the Ebola outbreak.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID, said that the National Institute of Health agrees with the CDC. Fauci and Frieden both said that a travel ban would make it difficult to track all travelers from West Africa should such a ban be instituted.

Frieden would not firmly state that a travel ban is totally out of the question, telling the committee, "We will consider any options to better protect Americans."

Frieden says he doesn't know the details of other countries' travel bans. #EbolaHearing

Mike Hayes@michaelhayesFollow

Frieden says he doesn't know the details of other countries' travel bans. #EbolaHearing

1:18 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Frieden on 2nd infected nurse: "My understanding is that she did contact the CDC" before flying.

Mike Hayes@michaelhayesFollow

Frieden on 2nd infected nurse: "My understanding is that she did contact the CDC" before flying.

1:04 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

CDC appears to be against travel ban b/c of fear of not being able to track travelers from West Africa. "Borders can be porous"

Mike Hayes@michaelhayesFollow

CDC appears to be against travel ban b/c of fear of not being able to track travelers from West Africa. "Borders can be porous"

1:21 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

CDC clarifies that "porous border" he was referring to was for African countries, not US borders.

Caitlin Huey-Burns@CHueyBurnsRCPFollow

CDC clarifies that "porous border" he was referring to was for African countries, not US borders.

1:27 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Dr. Fauci confirms at hearing that the NIH's position is a travel ban would hinder ability to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Mike Hayes@michaelhayesFollow

Dr. Fauci confirms at hearing that the NIH's position is a travel ban would hinder ability to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

1:27 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Frieden on travel restrictions: "We will consider any options to better protect Americans."

Mike Hayes@michaelhayesFollow

Frieden on travel restrictions: "We will consider any options to better protect Americans."

1:08 PM - 16 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Jonathan Ernst / Reuters.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden (at table, from left), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director Anthony Fauci, Health and Human Services Director for Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Robin Robinson, Food and Drug Administration Assistant Commissioner for Counterterrorism Policy Luciana Borio, and Customs and Border Protection's Office of Field Operations Acting Assistant Commissioner John Wagner testify before a House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing.

CDC Director Frieden testifies nurse with Ebola called federal authorities before boarding flight to Cleveland.

Frieden testified that Amber Vinson called the CDC and reported no symptoms. She then boarded the Frontier Airlines flight. Frieden said he wasn't on the call and he was unsure if CDC officials explicitly cleared her to fly.

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Video: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden and other witnesses are testifying before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on U.S. efforts to control the Ebola outbreak.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via Roll Call
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Nina Pham, the first Texas nurse who contracted Ebola, will be moved to a Maryland hospital.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci testified that Pham, who treated Duncan, will be taken to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The transfer to an isolation room might happen Thursday, according to NBC News, the first to report the move.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden and other witnesses are testifying before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on U.S. efforts to control the Ebola outbreak.

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Frontier Airlines has placed six crew members on paid leave, NBC News reported.

Frontier CEO David Siegel, in a letter to employees, said four flight attendants and two pilots who were on a flight with Amber Vinson were placed on leave, which will last 21 days.

He added that the Centers for Disease Control told him that Vinson "may have been symptomatic earlier than initially suspected; including the possibility of possessing symptoms while onboard the flight."

The airline previously said its crew didn't notice any symptoms from Vinson. The seat covers and carpets in the area where Vinson sat will be stripped from the plane, Siegel added.

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In a statement released Thursday in response to a release from National Nurses United, hospital bosses said workers followed CDC guidelines in their care of Duncan.

The following are facts about procedures and protocols in place during Mr. Duncan's treatment: · When Mr. Duncan returned to the Emergency Department (ED), he arrived via EMS. He was moved directly to a private room and placed in isolation. THD staff wore the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as recommended by the CDC at the time. · Regarding the ED tube delivery system utilized during Mr. Duncan's initial visit, all specimens were placed into closed specimens bags and placed inside a plastic carrier that travel through a pneumatic system. At no time did Mr. Duncan's specimens leak or spill — either from their bag or their carrier — into the tube system. · During Mr. Duncan's second visit, the tube system was used only once and without issue.* After that, his specimens were triple-bagged, placed in a container, and placed into a closed transport container and hand-carried to the lab utilizing the buddy system. · Additionally, while Mr. Duncan was in the MICU, all lab specimens were hand-carried and sealed per protocol. Routine labs were done in his room via wireless equipment. · Nurses who interacted with Mr. Duncan wore PPE consistent with the CDC guidelines. Staff had shoe covers, face shields were required, and an N-95 mask was optional — again, consistent with the CDC guidelines at the time. · When the CDC issued updates, as they did with leg covers, we followed their guidelines. · When the CDC recommended that nurses wear isolation suits, the nurses raised questions and concerns about the fact that the skin on their neck was exposed. The CDC recommended that they pinch and tape the necks of the gown. Because our nurses continued to be concerned, particularly about removing the tape, we ordered hoods. · Protective gear followed governing CDC guidelines at the time. · The CDC classified risk/exposure levels. Nurses who were classified as "no known exposure" or "no risk" were allowed to treat other patients per the CDC guidance. · Per the CDC guidelines, patients who may have been exposed were always housed or isolated per the CDC guidance. · Regarding hazardous waste, the hospital went above and beyond the CDC recommendations. Waste was well-contained in accordance with standards, and it was located in safe and containable locations. · Admittedly, when we received Tyvek suits, some were too large. We have since received smaller sizes, but it is possible that nurses used tape to cinch the suits for a better fit. * We originally stated that the tube system was not used during Mr. Duncan's second visit. We received information that the system was, in fact, used one time and without issue. We regret the error.

The nurse's union has not responded to the hospital's statement.

On Wednesday, National Nurses United, the largest health care workers' union, said 85% of surveyed nurses feel they are not prepared to deal with the deadly Ebola virus.

"This month has been a nightmare," said NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro during a conference call Wednesday. "We've been lied to in terms of the preparation in the hospitals. We are putting nurses in physical danger."

The CDC also released a statement saying that it held call with leaders of the American Nursing Association to discuss nurses' concerns and how we can prepare them to safely care for patients who have or may have Ebola.

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Amber Vinson's trip to Cleveland has prompted Ebola concerns in Ohio, NBC News reported.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

Frontier Airlines planes are shown in this file photo. Amber Vinson traveled between Clevleland and Dallas on the carrier.

A number of health workers who were on the same flight to Cleveland as Vinson — most of whom are said to be nurses from Cleveland Clinic, the MetroHealth System, and University Hospitals — have been placed on paid leave and are being monitored.

In a statement, the hospitals said: "We are confident that these nurses are at low risk of exposure since we understand [Vinson] did not have symptoms at the time. We have taken this measure as an extra precautionary step for our employees, patients, and visitors," NBC News reported.

Meanwhile, an elementary school teacher who may have come into contact with the nurse has also been sent home and is being monitored. Her school, Cranwood, has been "thoroughly cleaned with a bleach-based cleaning solution according to guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control," Cleveland Metropolitan School District said.

NBC News reported that two further schools in Ohio — Solon Middle School and Parkside Elementary School in Solon, Ohio — were ordered to close on Thursday after a staff member "traveled home from Dallas on Frontier Airlines Tuesday on a different flight, but perhaps the same aircraft," officials said.

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On Wednesday, a second Texas health worker — nurse Amber Joy Vinson — was diagnosed with Ebola.

Vinson is the second health worker who cared for Liberian Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital to contract the virus. Nurse Nina Pham was infected over the weekend.

Officials said Vinson traveled on two commercial flights since coming into contact with Duncan, the most recent flight on Oct. 13. Officials are asking passengers to contact them.

Akron Schools confirmed this is a photo of Amber Vinson, the 2nd nurse infected with #Ebola: http://t.co/CfxbXSbwQ9

CBSDFW@CBSDFWFollow

Akron Schools confirmed this is a photo of Amber Vinson, the 2nd nurse infected with #Ebola: http://t.co/CfxbXSbwQ9

3:41 PM - 15 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Before boarding the flight from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday, Vinson informed the CDC that she had a low-grade fever and was getting on a plane. A federal official said she was was not stopped from flying, CNN reported.

She is the fourth Ebola patient being treated there.

President Obama said Wednesday he wants "more aggressive" Ebola monitoring. Quick-acting "SWAT teams" of medical experts will be deployed to hospitals with infected patients within 24 hours.

In remarks prepared for a House of Representatives subcommittee, Varga said: "Despite our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team, we made mistakes. We did not correctly diagnose [Duncan's] symptoms as those of Ebola. We are deeply sorry."

The hospital mistakenly sent Duncan home before readmitting him.