Belton, Texas: Family Who Sat Near Ebola Nurse on Plane Quarantined

October 16, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

A resident of Belton, Texas sat within three feet of Amber Vinson, the Dallas nurse who is the third confirmed Ebola case in the United States, when she was flying from Ohio to Texas this week. 

The family of the person will now enter quarantine for 21 days, or the incubation period for the virus, to ensure that they didn’t contract the deadly disease from Vinson.

Vinson was originally reported as not showing any symptoms on the flight but a CDC official later said that she was showing symptoms prior to the flight.

Ebola spreads mostly through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids such as sweat, semen, and saliva. There are competing claims as to whether it can spread through the air at short distances.

One of the parents in the unnamed Belton family was sitting within three feet of Vinson on the Frontier Airlines flight, reported KECN. According to new CDC guidelines, that puts the person and their family at risk for Ebola.

“The family’s condition will continued to be monitored each day by county health officials. Their temperature will be taken twice a day,” it reported.

Three Belton schools are currently closed after it was revealed that two students and their parents were on the flight, including the parent in question. The students attend North Belton Middle School and Sparta Elementary. Belton Early Childhood School was also closed because some of its pre-kindergarten students transfer through Sparta at the beginning and end of the school day, reported KWTX.

The school district announced plans late Thursday to thoroughly clean all three schools. “This approach exceeds the recommendations made by local health officials,” the letter from Belton Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon said. “The district’s custodial and maintenance staff will conduct a thorough and deep cleaning of the Belton Early Childhood School.”

The schools are supposed to open on Monday. If one or more of the family members exhibit symptoms consistent with Ebola, they’ll be taken to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center, which is prepared to handle such a case, Janice Smith of the Bell County Health District said during a news conference Thursday.


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