Nurse who caught Ebola says she wasn’t careless

Amber Vinson, 29, the Dallas nurse who was being treated for Ebola, speaks at a news conference as members of her nursing staff look on after being discharged from Emory University Hospital, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in Atlanta. Vinson worked as a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died of Ebola at the hospital on Oct. 8. Vinson was one of two nurses who became infected while caring for Duncan. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

ATLANTA (AP) — The nurse who flew on a commercial jet before being diagnosed with Ebola says she wasn’t careless or reckless.

In an interview 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 Oct. 10 from Dallas to Cleveland and returning three days later. She said reports that she felt sick while traveling 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 Centers 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 Oct. 8.

Vinson said 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.”

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