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Schools across US are being closed or abandoned amid Ebola fears

Ebola outbreak

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(NaturalNews) As predicted, fear about Ebola is quickly spreading as the virus fans across the nation. Two schools in Ohio were closed on Thursday after staff members reported possibly coming into contact with the second Dallas nurse who contracted it from Thomas Eric Duncan, and another school was disinfected just to be sure that the virus wasn't lingering on surfaces.

Schools in both Ohio and Texas, in fact, canceled classes or shut down completely last week due to Ebola fears stemming from the travel of Amber Joy Vinson. The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital nurse visited the Cleveland area to make wedding arrangements, only to develop Ebola symptoms before traveling back to Dallas.

Since that time, health officials have been tracking down her contacts, some of whom are teachers at Cleveland-area schools. Though Vinson reportedly did not spend much time out in public during her trip, several of her close friends and family did, potentially exposing others to the virus.

"She was not at football games. She was not at restaurants. She was not at pizza parlors," insisted Gene Nixon, Summit County health commissioner, as quoted by USA Today. "She was very conscious of what she went through in Dallas."

Seven people in Cleveland under voluntary quarantine after encountering Vinson

Vinson did go to one store, though, where she may have come into contact with five people. Each of these individuals is now under voluntary quarantine and daily monitoring for 21 days, the time frame during which 95 percent of Ebola victims begin to show symptoms.

Vinson's own mother is also under quarantine, as she had previously traveled to Dallas to visit her daughter. A total of seven people, according to reports, are now under voluntary quarantine in Cleveland as officials attempt to trace the potential spread of the disease.

Officials say Vinson's elevated temperature during travel wasn't a 'fever'

Meanwhile, local health officials are in damage control after it was revealed that Vinson had been given the green light by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to travel, even though she had an elevated temperature of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit at the time.

The official threshold for a problematic fever possibly implicated in Ebola is 100.4 degrees F, which is nearly one degree higher than Vinson's temperature at the time of her flight back to Dallas. The official temperature threshold was 101.5 degrees F before the CDC lowered it.

Summit County Public Health Director Dr. Marguerite Erme told the media that characterizing Vinson's elevated temperature as a fever would have been a mischaracterization at the time. Robert Murphy, director of the Center for Global Health at Northwestern University near Chicago agrees, having told the media that Vinson would have easily slipped through screening in West Africa as well.

But the fact of the matter is that Vinson's involvement in treating Duncan was well known, and she even went out of her way to contact the CDC and ask whether or not it was safe to fly. Rather than employ common sense in the public interest, the CDC went by the book and declared Vinson's temperature reading to be below the level of concern.

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden now admits that Vinson shouldn't have been on the flight in the first place, and that the agency really screwed up in telling her to board without first verifying her disease status, which has now put potentially hundreds of people at risk. At the same time, the CDC refuses to say whether or not an Ebola patient without an actual fever can still transmit the disease.

Learn all these details and more at the FREE online Pandemic Preparedness course at www.BioDefense.com






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