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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Taylor Cole is so concerned about his health, he would only do an interview on Skype. On Monday, he was on the same flight to Dallas as Amber Vinson, the second healthcare worker who contracted Ebola after treating the first with the virus patient, Thomas Eric Duncan.
Cole told CBS 11 News, “She was within three feet of us, so yeah, I’m really worried about that.”
Cole wasn’t traveling alone. He was on the flight with his friend Axl Goode. Both are now quarantined in their homes. And they’re not happy the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allowed Vinson to fly even though she had a 99.5 temperature.
“If they’re the experts, they should have given us the choice to be on that flight or not. I would have opted for a different flight,” Goode said adding, “I think it put a lot of people at risk and if they told her to wait going on the plane ’til we have more information and see how your health goes, we may not be in this situation now.”
Goode wrote a detailed account on his Facebook page of the moment he learned that he was at risk. He said when he called the CDC hotline for help, there was an 81-minute wait time.
“After getting off the phone with Taylor I called the CDC. They have a wait time of 81 minutes. I opted for them to call me back. I spent the next 2 hours in a panicked state, trying to piece together as much information as I could. Reading article after article and seeing pictures of what happens to those who contract Ebola… I finally broke down,” he wrote.
“I stepped away from my computer. Tears were pouring down my face. Just a few hours ago everything seemed fine. Now I’m facing a hard fact that I may start to develop symptoms in the next 1-20 days. If that happens I stand a 10%-50% chance of survival. It’s a very hard truth to think that I may not be here in just a few weeks or less.”
Dr. John Carlo, a former Dallas County Medical Director, said, “We are concerned.” He acknowledges the CDC has made some mistakes — in part because Ebola is still a new threat in the U.S.
“We have to make sure we learn from this experience and make sure we don’t repeat it,” he said.
For now, Taylor Cole and Axl Goode lie awake at night thinking about what could happen. It’s not the best state of mind for Goode who said, “Once my mind started to wonder, it became incredibly scary.”
Cole is having a hard time keeping a glass-half-full mentality as well. “The worst that could happen… that’s what’s going through my mind.”
Both men say nurses are stopping by twice a day to take their temperatures and that they have no symptoms. Despite being frustrated them say they definitely plan on staying quarantined in their homes for the nearly three week period.
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