Nina Pham Identified As Nurse Who Contracted Ebola In Dallas, Texas
Nina Pham has been identified as the second person to be diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the United States, making her the first known person to contract the disease in the country.
Nina Pham Cared For Thomas Eric Duncan
Pham, 26, is a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, and she contracted the disease while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first man diagnosed with Ebola in the US during the recent epidemic. Duncan died Wednesday, Oct. 8, and it was announced that a healthcare professional had tested positive for the virus four days later.
— Jason Whitely (@JasonWhitely) October 13, 2014
Nina Pham Diagnosed With Ebola Virus
Pham’s parents confirmed she was the person infected, providing WFAA News 8 with an image of the nurse. Pham, a Texas Christian University graduate, was placed in isolation after reporting she suffered from a low-grade fever. After testing positively for Ebola, Pham’s apartment was decontaminated and officials are checking in with her neighbors and those she had contact with. According to reports, none of those close to Pham have shown any signs of infection.
In his initial statement, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Tom Frieden said that Pham’s infection resulted from "a breach in protocol.” However, in a new statement Frieden apologized to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, admitting that it is unknown exactly how or why Pham contracted the disease.
“I apologize if people thought I was criticizing the hospital…. And I feel awful that a health care worker became infected while helping an Ebola patient,” Frieden said at a press conference on Monday, adding that Pham was “clinically stable” and that she had been “incredibly helpful” in identifying people she had contact with.
CDC Press Conference
The CDC remains confident that they can stop the Ebola virus from spreading in Dallas, the first steps of which have already been taken (the decontamination of Pham’s apartment building, and the isolation of a person who could be at risk of infection from close contact with Pham).
“The CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services remain confident that wider spread in the community can be prevented with proper public health measures, including ongoing contact tracing, health monitoring among those known to have been in contact with the index patient, and immediate isolations if symptoms develop," the CDC said.
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