Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Texas Ebola nurse Nina Pham 'doing well'

Nina Pham seen in 2010 Nina Pham was exposed to Ebola while treating Thomas Duncan at a Texas hospital
A Texas nurse diagnosed with Ebola has thanked well-wishers for their support and prayers as she undergoes treatment for the deadly virus.

Nina Pham, 26, wrote she was "doing well" in a statement on Tuesday.
Ms Pham was exposed to Ebola when she treated Liberian Thomas Duncan - the first person diagnosed with the virus on US soil - at a Dallas hospital.

The outbreak has killed more than 4,400 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea since March.
"I am blessed by the support of family and friends and am blessed to be cared for by the best team of doctors and nurses in the world here at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas," Ms Pham wrote in the statement distributed by the hospital, her employer.

Barclay Berdan, chief executive officer of parent company Texas Health Resources, said her medical team were "hopeful".

The Dallas nurse contracted the virus from Duncan, who died last week, despite taking the standard precautions to shield herself.
A sanitation worker cleans the nurse's home (12 October)  
Specially protected workers cleaned and sanitised the nurse's home on Sunday
Dr Tom Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Sunday a "breach of protocol" enabled her to contract the virus, though he later clarified he had not intended to fault Ms Pham nor Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

The infection made the nurse the first person to contract Ebola inside the US.
Ms Pham has received an antibody-filled plasma infusion provided by a doctor previously treated for the virus.

From an interview with the 26-year-old nurse, public health investigators have identified only a single person with whom she had contact during the period when she could have been infectious.
That person, along with 48 contacts of Duncan and the healthcare workers who treated him, are being monitored for signs of the disease.

Also on Tuesday, I reported that Facebook founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan pledged $25m (£16m) to help fight the Ebola epidemic.
Their contribution follows a warning by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that there could be up to 10,000 new cases a week within two months if efforts to contain the outbreak were not intensified.

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