The Carnival Magic cruise ship has returned to Texas in the United States after a nurse who might have handled specimens of the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States was isolated in her cabin. The woman is considered to be low risk, however the cruise company has handed out leaflets on Ebola to all the passengers on board.
The Dallas health care worker, who is said to have no symptoms and according to standards from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is at the end of the 21-day maximum incubation window for Ebola, had voluntarily gone into isolation along with a companion aboard the ship.
The Carnival Magic cruise ship, owned by Carnival Cruise Lines, returned to dock in Galveston, Texas, after both Mexico and Belize refused to allow the ship to dock in their ports over Ebola concerns.
The ship skipped its final stop in Cozumel, Mexico, which was scheduled for Friday. Passengers have revealed that they saw news reports of the situation but were not notified by staff on board.
The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital worker did not have direct contact with now deceased Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan at the Dallas hospital but could have processed his bodily fluids. She left the country before being notified of the CDC's updated requirement for active monitoring, U.S. government officials said on Friday.
Concerns about Ebola in the United States have intensified after two nurses from the Dallas hospital who cared for Duncan contracted the virus, which has killed nearly 4,500 people, mostly in West Africa. The White House is facing sharp criticism from U.S. lawmakers over its efforts to contain the disease.
On Thursday, Frontier Airlines said six crew members were placed on paid leave for 21 days "out of an abundance of caution," after learning that a nurse who had treated Duncan in Dallas may have been symptomatic when she flew on the airline earlier this week.