Oklahoma man experiences Ebola scare on vacation

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EDMOND – An Edmond man says his Carnival Cruise vacation did not go as planned.

He was on board the Carnival Magic, the cruise ship that got a lot of attention this last week after it was revealed that someone was exposed to Ebola on board.

A Dallas health care worker was being monitored for Ebola on that ship.

When she left for the cruise, health officials were only requiring self monitoring but officials stepped up their response while the cruise was underway.

It resulted in some tense days at sea for everyone on board that ship.

The Carnival Magic made it back to port Sunday morning, as hundreds of relieved passengers deboarded.

Oklahoman, Tim Wheeler, was on that cruise with his wife, three daughters and some friends.

“There was actually rumors on the boat that people had received calls from the mainland from family members and friends that had mentioned Ebola on the boat,” Wheeler said.

Those rumors quickly turned real as the ship’s captain announced to passengers that a person on board was a Dallas health care worker who had handled specimens from the Liberian man who died of Ebola in Dallas.

“”I don’t know about panic as far as ship wide. I know it was an extremely surreal feeling for myself and my family. You wouldn’t expect that or think of that you would actually be a part of it,” Wheeler said.

But Wheeler says employees with Carnival were extremely accommodating and kept them updated on the situation.

Passengers were not allowed off the boat in Cozumel – the last stop for the cruise.

And a coast guard helicopter flew in to collect a blood sample from the woman in question.

Carnival did announce early Sunday morning that the woman in question tested negative for Ebola.