Washington (AFP) - Some schools in Ohio and Texas closed Thursday amid fears that students or staff had been exposed to a nurse who had Ebola infection during an airline flight.
The US Centers for Disease Control has reached out to 132 people who were on the same October 13 flight as Amber Vinson, but said there was an extremely low risk that anyone was infected.
She had a low-grade fever and was not vomiting or experiencing diarrhea on the trip from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth, but she should not have been allowed to board a commercial airline, CDC chief Tom Frieden said.
Three schools in central Texas were closed because two students had traveled on the same Frontier Airlines flight, according to a statement posted online.
School superintendent Susan Kincannon said North Belton Middle School and Sparta Elementary -- where the students attend -- were closed, as well as Belton Early Childhood School while health authorities evaluated the risk.
"I'm frustrated that we didn't learn until late tonight that the CDC was re-evaluating the health risk," she wrote in the letter, posted late Wednesday.
"The health and safety of our students is my first priority."
Some schools in Ohio also closed, including Solon Middle School and Parkside Elementary, after a school employee was potentially on the same plane but a different flight.
"We learned today that an SMS staff member traveled home from Dallas on Frontier Airlines Tuesday on a different flight, but perhaps the same aircraft, as the Texas nurse with Ebola," said the school.
Officials at the schools said the closures were a precautionary measure, and that building facilities would be thoroughly cleaned.
Ebola is spread through close contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. The virus has killed more than 4,400 people in West Africa since the start of this year.
Vinson was the second health care worker diagnosed with Ebola after treating Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who died in Dallas on October 8.
Her Ebola diagnosis was announced October 15, two days after she took the domestic flight. Another nurse, Nina Pham, was diagnosed with Ebola on October 12.