Well that was a cruise ruined for nothing. A Dallas hospital lab worker who had voluntarily isolated herself in a cabin during much of a week-long cruise has tested negative for Ebola. The Carnival Magic, the cruise ship that had become a microcosm of the Ebola hysteria that President Obama criticized on Saturday, docked in Texas after a week-long trip in which passengers were not allowed to descend in Belize and Mexico because the lab worker may have come into contact with test samples from an Ebola patient, reports Reuters.
More than 4,000 passengers on the ship had lived a mini week-long Ebola drama that began when they learned through the ship’s public address system that one of the passengers was being monitored for the virus. At one point, a Coast Guard helicopter even landed on the ship to get a blood sample. Some insist, though, that they tried to not let a little Ebola scare ruin their vacation. “We weren’t worried,” a woman who was on her honeymoon during the cruise told the Associated Press. “We ended up just hanging out and enjoying the rest of the trip.”
There are soon likely to be dozens more relieved people as the 21 days of monitoring for fever and other symptoms that could signal an Ebola infection will end on Sunday or Monday for 48 people, reports CNN. Around 145 people with “contacts and possible contacts” are being monitored.
On Sunday, the Dallas hospital that has been at the center of the health scare took out a full-page ad apologizing for its mistakes. In an open letter published in the Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas Health Resources CEO recognizes that “we made mistakes in handling this very difficult challenge.” In the letter, Duncan notes that while the hospital had started activities to train staff on how to handle an Ebola scare, “our training and education programs had not been fully deployed before the virus struck.”