A Texas hospital lab supervisor who may have handled fluid samples from Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan is on a Carnival cruise ship and has been quarantined on board, officials said Friday. The Texas Health Presbyterian hospital employee, who set sail from Galveston on Oct. 12, did not have "direct contact" with Duncan and “has not had a fever or demonstrated any symptoms of illness,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. Two nurses at the hospital, where Duncan died Oct. 8, have been infected by the virus — including one whose travel on a commercial flight to Cleveland prompted concerns over authorities’ handling of the outbreak in the United States.
Mexican authorities did not grant clearance to the Carnival Magic to make a scheduled stop in Cozumel on Friday afternoon, according to a statement from the cruise line. The ship would continue to Galveston, where the cruise will conclude on Sunday morning, according to Carnival. "The Texas healthcare worker on board continues to show no symptoms of illness and poses no risk to the guests or crew on board. The individual remains in voluntary isolation," the statement said.
Psaki's statement noted that the worker had set sea before the Center for Disease Control stepped up its monitoring program. "It has been 19 days since the passenger may have processed the since-deceased patient’s fluid samples,” the statement said.
- Alastair Jamieson and Katie Wall