Plane that second Ebola victim took originated in Chicago, has been grounded in Cleveland

An ABC 7 I-Team Investigation
CHICAGO (WLS) -- U.S. health authorities are contacting more than 130 passengers who were on-board the latest jetliner carrying an Ebola victim, a Frontier Airlines plane that originated in Chicago on Monday.

Ebola-infected nurse Amber Vinson was on the Cleveland-to-Dallas leg of that plane's flight schedule. The head of the Center for Disease Control says she had a fever at the time and should not have flown.

Before Ebola victim Thomas Duncan died, he was cared for by 77 hospital staff members - Vinson was one of them.

While Vinson and the others are all being monitored, there were no restrictions on their travel. And so last week Vinson flew to Cleveland to see her family, and on Monday she returned to Dallas, flying on the Frontier Airlines jet shown above.

The I-Team has learned that on the day she flew - Monday, Oct. 13 - that very plane started in Chicago, according to flight records, departing O'Hare at 12:54 p.m.

It arrived in Cleveland at 2:43 p.m. and it was at Cleveland Hopkins Airport that Vinson boarded the flight with what authorities now say was a 99.5 degree fever.

According to flight records, the plane from Chicago departed Cleveland at 6:31 p.m. and arrived in Dallas a little after 8 p.m., carrying the Ebola-infected nurse.

At University of Illinois Hospital, infectious diseases expert Dr. Richard Novak says with a fever, there was potential danger to people on the plane, but almost no risk to those who flew on that aircraft once she was off.

"Viruses have to live inside cells in order to be viable, or within body fluids - and so if there's a body fluid and it dries up, the virus is pretty much inactivated, or dead," Novak said. "That's been tested with numerous viruses including Ebola, and Ebola virus doesn't survive when it's dried out."

Despite that, Frontier has cancelled the plane's planned flights from Cleveland Wednesday night despite what the airline says were three thorough cleanings.

That jetliner made five flights after the infected patient was onboard. It is unclear the number of Chicago passengers who continued on to Dallas with her during the flight Monday.

In Washington, D.C., House Speaker John Boehner along with the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and other top republicans have asked for a temporary ban on travel to the US from Ebola-effected countries in Africa.

Other flights using the same Frontier Airlines plane

Here are the five flights the Frontier Airlines Airbus A-320 flew AFTER the nurse who later tested positive for Ebola was onboard (from Flightaware.com)

14-Oct-2014
A320/L Hartsfield-Jackson Intl (KATL)
Cleveland-Hopkins Intl (KCLE)
10:12PM EDT
11:19PM EDT

14-Oct-2014
A320/L Cleveland-Hopkins Intl (KCLE)
Hartsfield-Jackson Intl (KATL)
07:24PM EDT
09:03PM EDT

14-Oct-2014
A320/L Hollywood Int'l (KFLL)
Cleveland-Hopkins Intl (KCLE)
04:02PM EDT
06:16PM EDT

14-Oct-2014
A320/L Cleveland-Hopkins Intl (KCLE)
Hollywood Int'l (KFLL)
12:24PM EDT
03:00PM EDT

14-Oct-2014
A320/L Dallas/Fort Worth Intl (KDFW)
Cleveland-Hopkins Intl (KCLE)
08:11AM CDT
11:14AM EDT

Please note that Frontier says the plane got a thorough cleaning on the night of the 13th and 14th

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N220FR
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