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October 28th, 2014
07:32 AM ET

Army Major General, Troops Quarantined After Ebola Aid Trip

Nearly 7 in 10 Americans are angry at the direction the country is headed and 53% of Americans disapprove of President Barack Obama's job performance, two troubling signs for Democrats one week before the midterm elections, a new CNN/ORC International Poll shows.

Democrats are battling to try and save the Senate majority, while hoping to prevent more losses in the House, which the GOP controls by a 234 to 201 margin.

In the Senate, Republicans need a net gain of six seats, and several state polls in the past month of contested races show that Democrats are in danger of losing control of the majority, and thus Congress. Currently, Democrats control the Senate by a 55-45 margin with two of those seats held by independents that align themselves politically with Democrats.

MORE on CNN.com.

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Filed under: Ebola • Italy
October 24th, 2014
03:39 AM ET

From Guinea to the U.S.: Timeline of First Ebola Patient in New York City

A doctor who recently returned from Guinea has tested positive for Ebola - the first case of the deadly virus in New York City.

Here is a timeline of Craig Spencer's movements since he got back from the West African nation:

When did he return from Guinea?

Spencer came back to the United States last week after treating Ebola patients in Guinea, where he worked for Doctors Without Borders.

He completed his work in Guinea on October 12 and left the country two days later via Brussels.

He arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport on October 17, but he exhibited no symptoms of the virus until Thursday morning, said Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, New York City's health commissioner.

The physician, who works at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, was checking his temperature twice a day. He has not seen any patients since his return.

Did he have any symptoms?

The 33-year-old did not have any symptoms after his return, but developed a fever, nausea, pain and fatigue Thursday morning. He began feeling sluggish a couple of days ago, and his fever spiked to 100.3 degrees Thursday, authorities said.

How many people has he been in contact with?

Spencer was in contact with four people after he started exhibiting symptoms, authorities said. Ebola isn't contagious until someone has symptoms.

Three people - his fiancée and two friends - are being placed on quarantine and monitored, health officials said. The fourth person is a car service driver who had no direct contact with him and is not considered at risk.

Spencer also went for a three-mile jog and visited a bowling alley in Brooklyn prior to feeling symptomatic, according to Bassett.

The bowling alley closed Thursday as a precaution, but it said in a statement that health officials have determined there are no risks to customers.

He also traveled on three subway lines. "At the time that the doctor was on the subway he did not have fever ... he was not symptomatic," Bassett said.

See more on this developing story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Ebola
October 17th, 2014
05:57 AM ET

Nurse May Have Had Symptoms of Ebola Longer Than First Thought

A nurse with Ebola may have shown symptoms of the virus as many as four days before authorities once indicated, meaning that she might have been contagious while flying on not just one, but two commercial flights, officials said Thursday.

Amber Vinson was hospitalized Tuesday, one day after she took a Frontier flight from Cleveland to Dallas. Tests later found that Vinson - who was among those who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, at Dallas' Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital - had Ebola.

Authorities indicated Vinson had a slightly elevated temperature of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which was below the fever threshold for Ebola, but didn't show any symptoms of the disease while on her Monday flight. This is significant because a person isn't contagious with Ebola, which spreads through the transmission of bodily fluids, until he or she has symptoms of the disease.

But on Thursday, Dr. Chris Braden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters in Ohio that "we have started to look at the possibility that she had symptoms going back as far as Saturday. ... We can't rule out (that) she might have had the start of her illness on Friday."

"So this new information now is saying we need to go back now to the flight that she took on Friday the 10th and include them in our investigation of contacts," said Braden.

The CDC announced later Thursday that is "expanding its outreach to airline passengers now to include those who flew from Dallas-Fort Worth to Cleveland on Frontier flight 1142" last Friday - which is how Vinson got to Ohio, from Texas, originally.

See more on this developing story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Ebola
October 16th, 2014
05:20 AM ET

Texas Hospital Apologizes for Ebola Mistakes: 'We Are Deeply Sorry'

A hospital official apologizes for blunders in handling Ebola. Schools close for fear of possible exposure. And health officials consider putting 76 hospital workers on a no-fly list after an infected nurse flew on a plane with a fever.

Here's the latest on the Ebola in the United States:

Hospital official: 'We are deeply sorry'

The Texas hospital where an Ebola patient died and two nurses became infected is apologizing for mistakes made when first confronted with the deadly virus.

Dr. Daniel Varga said the hospital mishandled the case of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola patient who was originally sent home from Texas Presbyterian Health Dallas hospital even after he had a fever and said he was from Liberia.

"Unfortunately, in our initial treatment of Mr. Duncan, despite our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team, we made mistakes," Varga, the chief clinical officer for Texas Health Services, said in written testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

"We did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola. We are deeply sorry."

Days after Duncan returned to the hospital, he died from the virus.

But Varga did outline a timeline of the hospital's preparation, saying hospital staffers were given guidance on looking for Ebola symptoms several times over the summer.

He said the hospital has made several policy changes, such as updating the emergency department screening process to include a patient's travel history and increasing training for staffers.

CDC considers grounding Texas hospital workers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now considering putting 76 health care workers at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas on the Transportation Security Administration's no-fly list, an official familiar with the situation said.

The official also said the CDC is considering lowering the fever threshold that would be considered a possible sign of Ebola. The current threshold is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

The idea came after news that Amber Vinson, a nurse who cared for Duncan, flew home from Cleveland to Dallas after reporting a fever.

Vinson called the CDC to report an elevated temperature of 99.5 Fahrenheit. She informed the agency that she was getting on a plane, a federal official told CNN, but she wasn't told to stay grounded.

Vinson, 29, is now being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, which has successfully treated two other patients.

Staffing issues at the hospital were behind the decision to transfer Vinson to Emory, a federal official told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

"What we're hearing is that they are worried about staffing issues and a possible walkout of nurses," the official said.

See more on this developing story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Ebola
October 15th, 2014
06:06 AM ET

Second Health Care Worker Tests Positive for Ebola

A second health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan has tested positive for Ebola, the state's health department said Wednesday.

The worker reported a fever Tuesday and was immediately isolated, health department spokeswoman Carrie Williams said.

The preliminary Ebola test was done late Tuesday at the state public health laboratory in Austin, and the results came back around midnight. A second test will be conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

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

But the pool of contacts could be small, since Ebola can only be transmitted when an infected person shows symptoms. Less than a day passed between the onset of the worker's symptoms and isolation at the hospital.

See more on this developing story on CNN.com.

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Filed under: Ebola
October 14th, 2014
05:43 AM ET

Nursing 'More Than a Career' for Ebola Patient

She tackled one of the toughest jobs any nurse could take - treating a highly contagious Ebola patient. And somehow along the way, she contracted the deadly virus herself.

Now, as Nina Pham tries to recover in the same hospital where she works, details of her life and career are beginning to emerge.

Here's what we know about the 26-year-old Texan:

She's Vietnamese-American

Pham grew up in a Vietnamese family in Fort Worth, Texas.

She didn't go far away for college, attending Texas Christian University in the same city. Pham graduated with a nursing license in 2010.

And just two months ago, Pham received certification in critical care nursing, which deals specifically with life-threatening problems.

She's very religious

"She is a very devoted Catholic, and always puts the other people's interests ahead of her own," said family friend Tom Ha, who has known Pham since she was in 8th grade.

Ha taught Pham in Bible class at his church.

"She comes from a family that is (of) a very strong faith. So I don't surprised that she (did) more than her duty called for in order to make sure the patient had a chance to survive," Ha said.

When Pham called the church to let members know she contracted Ebola, "everybody at the church were crying at that moment."

She loves her job

Ha, the family friend, said nursing isn't just a job for Pham - it's a calling.

"I think that she take it (as) more than a career. I think it's a vocation, because her family, from the time that we met, they always serve other people," he said.

When she was accepted into nursing school, she was really excited, a family friend told the Dallas Morning News. "Her mom would tell her how it's really hard and a bunch of her friends quit doing it because it was so stressful," the friend told the paper. "But she was like, 'This is what I want to do.'"

She's a good teacher

Not only is Pham skilled in proper nursing techniques, she was a scrupulous teacher, too.

Jennifer Joseph trained under Pham at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Though she now works at another hospital, she remembers the guidance she received from Pham.

"Knowing Nina, she's one of the most meticulous, thorough, effective nurses," Joseph told CNN affiliate KTVT. "She taught me infection control and hand hygiene and protocol. I learned so much of that from her."

Joseph said she also has faith those taking care of her now will help their colleague recover.

"I have full confidence they'll be able to get her through this."

She has a sense of humor

Among the boards she set up on her Pinterest account are two filled with funny e-cards: "Laughter is the best medicine" and "Nurse things."

"I hate the questions that start with, 'So you're a nurse, let me ask you ..." read one of the pins she posted.

She adores her dog

Many of Pham's photos on social media feature her King Charles spaniel, Bentley.

After Spanish authorities euthanized an Ebola patient's dog last week, many in Dallas feared Pham's dog might face the same fate.

But Dallas city spokeswoman Sana Syed said Bentley is safe and being cared for in quarantine.

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Filed under: Ebola
October 13th, 2014
06:06 AM ET

'Breach in Protocol' Led to New Ebola Infection in Texas

On the surface, the nurse seemed to have taken all the precautions needed to protect herself from Ebola.

She wore a mask, gown, shield and gloves. Her patient was isolated in an American hospital.

And yet the woman still contracted Ebola, marking the first known transmission ever in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there was a breach in protocol, but haven't elaborated on what it means. Instead, it said the protocols laid out for American hospitals work.

So what happened? How could a nurse at an American hospital contract the virus? And how troubling is it?

How it happened

CDC officials have spoken to the infected nurse, and she wasn't able to point to a specific breach.

"At some point, there was a breach in protocol, and that breach in protocol resulted in this infection," the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Thomas Frieden, said at a news conference Sunday.

The nurse, who works at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, had been treating Thomas Eric Duncan - the first patient ever diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. Duncan died Wednesday.

The CDC is looking at several possibilities as to how that breach may have happened.

The agency says it will be looking at two areas in particular:

a) whether the infection occurred during kidney dialysis or respiratory intubation.

Duncan underwent both procedures "as a desperate measure to try to save his life," Frieden said. "Both of those procedures may spread contaminated materials and are considered high-risk procedures."

b) whether the infection occurred during the removal of protective equipment.

"When you have potentially soiled or contaminated gloves or masks or other things, to remove those without any risk of any contaminated material ... touching you and being then on your clothes or face or skin ... is not easy to do right."

Or the problem could have been something else entirely.

CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen said precautions among health care workers can actually go overboard sometimes.

"For example, they are supposed to double glove in some situations. Well, triple gloving is a violation of protocol and actually could make things worse, instead of making things better, because then you need to take off three pairs of gloves ... gloves with infectious stuff on them."

See more on this developing story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Ebola
Ebola protection
October 10th, 2014
04:33 AM ET

Ebola Comment Gets Man Hazmat Escort From Plane

Ebola is no laughing matter, especially not at airports or on planes, where screenings have gotten tighter.

So, when a man on a flight on Wednesday may have joked that he had been to Africa and had the deadly disease, he received a special escort off the plane.

Four officials in blue plastic hazmat suits boarded U.S. Airways Flight 845 to retrieve him after it landed in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

"I was just kidding," he could be heard saying in a video posted to social media. "I ain't from Africa!" he continued, as he walked with the officials down the aisle of the plane.

The Dominican officials had met the plane coming from Philadelphia on the tarmac "due to a possible health issue on board," U.S. Airways said in statement.

"We are following the direction of, and strictly adhering to, all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines in place for airlines in response to the Ebola virus," the airline said.

Before the men came aboard in their bubble-like suits, a flight attendant prepared passengers for what they were about to see. Sit down and listen, she told them.

"It's going to look worse than it is," she said over the PA system. The glow of cell phone cameras filled the cabin and videos of what happened later hit social media.

The attendant spared the passenger who made the comment no indignity. She had seen nothing like this in 36 years of flying, she said.

"I think the man that has said this is an idiot, and I'll say that straight out, and if you hear me that's fine," she announced. Then she introduced the men wearing hazmat suits over bulky breathing apparatuses.

Passengers reacted with astonishment, anger and fear.

"You can't make this stuff up," a passenger can be heard saying in the online video.

Others covered their faces and scooted away in their seats."Don't touch this guy," someone could be heard saying.

A boo or two went through the cabin as the man walked by. Once he was off, the officials checked the plane then gave it clearance.

CNN has not been able to confirm the comment the man allegedly made, but according to local media reports in the Dominican Republic citing the airport's director of operations, it was:

"I have Ebola. You're all screwed."

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Filed under: Ebola
October 7th, 2014
04:39 AM ET

Spain Has Outbreak's 1st Known Case of Contracting Ebola Outside of Africa

A nurse's assistant in Spain is the first person known to have contracted Ebola outside of Africa in the current outbreak.

Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato announced Monday that a test confirmed the assistant has the virus.

The woman helped treat a Spanish missionary and a Spanish priest, both of whom had contracted Ebola in West Africa. Both died after returning to Spain.

Health officials said she developed symptoms on September 30. She was not hospitalized until this week. Her only symptom was a fever.

See more on this developing story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Ebola
October 3rd, 2014
05:56 AM ET

Sanitizing Crew Turned Away at Ebola Patient's Residence in Dallas

Four days after a man was diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas, the apartment where he stayed has not been sanitized, a cleaning crew contracted to do the job said. Four other people are still living there.

Thomas Eric Duncan became the first person diagnosed with Ebola on American soil when he was hospitalized this week after arrival from Liberia.

His partner and her family are in isolation at the apartment, which still has the sheets and towels Duncan used.

Before leaving his homeland, Duncan answered no to questions on whether he was exposed to the deadly virus, said Binyah Kesselly, board chairman of the Liberia Airport Authority.

Duncan had been helping Ebola patients, including caring for one at a residence outside the capital of Monrovia, Liberian community leader Tugbeh Chieh Tugbeh said.

See more on this developing story on CNN.com

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