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US nurse who caught Ebola: I wasn't careless

07 November 2014, 06:45

Atlanta - The Dallas nurse who flew on a commercial jet before being diagnosed with Ebola says she wasn't careless or reckless.

In an interview on Thursday on NBC's Today show, Amber Vinson also said she didn't get enough training to feel comfortable treating Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

"The first time that I put on the protective equipment, I was heading in to take care of the patient," she said.

Vinson also said she checked with health officials before flying on 10 October from Dallas to Cleveland and returning three days later. She said reports that she felt sick while travelling were false.

She also said she became fearful after learning that her fellow nurse Nina Pham, who had also been treating Duncan, was suspected of having Ebola.

"I was floored," she said in the interview. "I was afraid for myself and my family because I did everything that I was instructed to do every time and I felt like if Nina can get it, any one of us could have gotten it."

The federal Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has acknowledged that Vinson wasn't stopped from flying. CDC Director Tom Frieden later said that was a mistake on the agency's part.

Vinson and Pham have both recovered from Ebola. Duncan died on 8 October.

Vinson said on Thursday that she feels good, but still gets tired sometimes.

Asked whether she would be willing to treat another Ebola patient, Vinson said "absolutely".

"Nursing is what I do," she said. "I could never see a patient there that needs help and not do everything I can to help them."

- AP

Tags us ebola

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