4th Ebola patient being treated at Emory University Hospital

Infectious disease expert discusses Ebola virus

ATLANTA — The second Dallas health care worker who contracted the deadly Ebola virus is now at Emory University Hospital.

ABC News confirmed the patient's identity as Amber Vinson.

Vinson arrived in Atlanta from DeKalb Peachtree Airport, then transferred from the specialized private jet to a waiting ambulance. The motorcade with police escort made the 20 minute drive to Emory Hospital at about 8:30 p.m.

Video from News Chopper 2 showed Vinson wearing head-to-toe protective gear. She was able to walk on her own.

Vinson was infected with the deadly disease after treating a Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of Ebola last week at a Dallas-area hospital.

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says Vinson traveled to Cleveland, Ohio before she knew that the first nurse had been diagnosed. Vinson was self-monitoring at the time.

Content Continues Below

A CDC spokesman, David Daigle, says Vinson spoke with a CDC official responsible for monitoring her health before she boarded the flight Monday.

Daigle says the 29-year-old Vinson reported her temperature was below 100.4 degrees and she had no symptoms. Ebola sufferers aren't contagious until they show symptoms. The official said she could board Frontier Airlines Flight 1143.

Vinson flew to Cleveland on Friday, the same day a colleague, nurse Nina Pham, was hospitalized. Pham's diagnosis with Ebola was disclosed on Sunday.

Vinson then returned to Texas on Monday on Frontier Airlines Flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas-Fort Worth with 132 other passengers, according to the CDC.

The airplane's crew said she had no symptoms of Ebola during her return flight on Monday. But Tuesday morning she developed a fever and on Tuesday night tested positive for Ebola.

The CDC said it's thinking about putting 76 Texas hospital workers on the no-fly list.

Plane came to Atlanta before decontamination

Channel 2 Action News confirmed the Frontier Airlines plane traveled to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport before decontamination.

Channel 2's Jodie Fleischer reported the plane carrying Vinson flew from Cleveland to Dallas, where she got off the plane. The next morning, the same Frontier Airlines plane traveled to Atlanta and several other airports.

Frontier Airlines said the plane had a "normal, but thorough" cleaning after it arrived in Dallas.

Here are the flight numbers for the trips the plane made after dropping the patient off in Dallas: 

Dallas to Cleveland - Frontier Flight 2042

Cleveland to Fort Lauderdale - Frontier Flight 1104

Fort Lauderdale to Cleveland - Frontier Flight 1105

Cleveland to Atlanta - Frontier Flight 1101 (landed in Atlanta at 9:07 p.m.)

Atlanta to Cleveland - Frontier Flight 1100 (left Atlanta at 9:57 p.m.)

Frontier Airlines said in a statement to Fleischer late Wednesday night that the airline  is giving 21 days of paid leave to the two pilots and four flight attendants who were on the Vinson's flight to Dallas, just to be cautious. A Frontier crew flew the plane to Denver, Colorado Wednesday night with no passengers on aboard for it to be cleaned for a fourth time.

The airline said it will go above and beyond what the CDC requires and remove seat covers and carpet in area near the passenger's seat. They will also replace the plane's environmental filters.

"We take today's events seriously as your safety and that of our customers is always at the forefront of everything we do," the statement said.

Fleischer also learned the aircraft was prepped for a later flight that was scheduled to take off right after Vinson's flight landed. The statement said the plane was boarded within 15 minutes but it is unclear whether that includes passengers, or just the crew. The flight was ultimately cancelled for an unrelated reason.

Health officials have interviewed Vinson to quickly identify any contacts or potential exposures, and those people will be monitored. The type of monitoring depends on the nature of their interactions and the potential they were exposed to the virus.

The CDC is asking all 132 passengers on Frontier Airlines Flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on Oct. 13 (the flight route was Cleveland to Dallas Fort Worth and landed at 8:16 p.m. CT) to call 1 800-CDC INFO (1-800-232-4636). 

Public health professionals will begin interviewing passengers about the flight, answering their questions, and arranging follow-ups. People who are determined to be at any potential risk will be actively monitored.

Nurse responding well to Ebola treatment

Nurse Nina Pham contracted the virus while caring for Duncan, who was the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States.

Health officials are monitoring 48 others who had some contact with Duncan before he was admitted the hospital, where he died Oct. 8.

Pham, 26, became the first person to contract the disease on U.S. soil as she cared for Duncan. The nurse released a statement Tuesday through Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital saying she was "doing well," and the hospital listed her in good condition.

She has received a plasma transfusion from a doctor who beat the virus and the hospital CEO said medical staff members remain hopeful about her condition.

Pham was in Duncan's room often, from the day he was placed in intensive care until the day before he died.

"I'm doing well and want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers," she said.

Emory treats 3 other Ebola patients

Emory University Hospital has successfully treated two patients who contracted the Ebola virus and has another patient at the hospital they are currently treating.

Dr. Kent Brantly and American aid worker Nancy Writebol contracted the disease in Liberia while working with the faith-based charity Samaritan's Purse.

They arrived at Emory on Aug. 2 and Aug. 4 and they were put into isolation to be treated for the deadly virus.

Both patients were at the hospital for about three weeks before being released after health officials declared them Ebola-free.

A third patient is currently being treated at the hospital. The name of the patient has not been released. The man worked for the World Health Organization and contracted the virus while working in Sierra Leone. The WHO is declining to offer any more information.

That patient released a statement Wednesday saying, "I am recovering from this disease, and … I anticipate being discharged very soon, free from the Ebola virus and able to return safely to my family and to my community."