26-year-old nurse Nina Pham was among the first staffers at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital to treat Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan, the first confirmed Ebola case on US soil. Pham has been identified as the second confirmed case of the virus in America, and the first to contract the virus from another patient in the United States.
According to local outlet KENS5, family members have confirmed that Pham is the nurse currently being quarantined after testing positive for Ebola. Pham is a graduate of Texas Christian University and received her nursing degree in 2010.
The Center for Disease Control confirmed over the weekend that a nurse had tested positive for the virus, as well as confirming that medical staff were not being quarantined or monitored after coming into contact with Duncan. Duncan, who contracted the virus in Monrovia, Liberia, died earlier this month at the Dallas hospital. While there has been no confirmation as to how Pham contracted Ebola given the medical precautions enforced at the hospital, CDC head Thomas Frieden told the media that “at some point, there was a breach in protocol, and that breach in protocol resulted in this infection.”
The Daily Mail received further word from Pham’s family members that she was in stable condition. Pham had been “self-monitoring” and immediately admitted herself to the hospital upon finding that her temperature had increased significantly. Pham’s uncle, Jason Nguyen, confirmed it was her, and told the paper: “My sister is very upset, we all are. She said she was going up to the hospital in Dallas and I haven’t heard from her since. I’ve tried to call but I can’t get through. It’s very shocking. I don’t know any of the details, only what I hear on the news. It’s frightening.”
The Mail reports that Pham, of Vietnamese-American descent, was long devoted to medical care and, friends confirm, is a devout Christian who regularly attends mass at Dallas’ Lady of Fatima Church. She is also the caretaker of a King Charles Spaniel featured in the first photo family have released of her. After controversy in Spain after the dog of Ebola-positive nurse Teresa Romero was killed, authorities have confirmed that Pham’s dog, who has not been publicly named, will be spared.
“We just felt the dog is very important to this hero of a health-care giver and we’re going to do anything we can to help,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings in an interview with Bloomberg. Dogs have been confirmed to carry the virus, though it does not make them ill.
Pham’s home has been sealed off by authorities and is currently being inspected by medical professionals, as officials try to trace contacts and find anyone who may have been exposed to Ebola in the area.