DALLAS, Texas — First nurse Ebola stricken in the United States, Nina Pham has been five times tested, cleared of the disease and released from the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Bethesda Maryland Friday. She read a statement to the press as news of her release broke.
Outside NIH, Nina spoke to the nation with thanks for prayers, well wishes for those still ill and a request for privacy. Pham was transferred to NIH for treatment from the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas where she first contracted the disease.
“I do not know how I can thank you everyone enough,” Pham said for the prayers and well wishes so many have sent her way.
“I join you in prayer now,” Pham said for doctor Craig Spencer, fellow nurse Amber Vinson and all those that continue to fight the disease. Spencer was diagnosed with Ebola Thursday in New York. He had returned nine days previous and was self-monitoring for symptoms.
“Although I no longer have Ebola,” Pham said, “it may be a while before I have my strength back.”
“I appreciate everyone’s concern and now ask for my privacy,” she requested.
The National Institutes of Health posted, “?#NinaPham is ?#Ebola free after 5 negative tests for the virus. She is excited to return home,” “Dr. Fauci says she is 100% cured of ?#Ebola and is now working on getting her full strength back” and “?#NinaPham was not issued any experimental treatment at the ?#NIH,” on Twitter following the press conference.
Pham contracted the disease while treating first U.S. diagnosed Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital (THPH) in Dallas, Texas. Duncan was admitted to Presbyterian on September 28 and died there on October 8.
THPH released the following statement following Pham’s comments, “The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas family is thrilled that Nina Pham is Ebola-free and on her way home. Her colleagues and friends eagerly look forward to welcoming her back. Her courage and spirit, first in treating a critically ill Ebola patient and then in winning her own battle against the disease, has truly inspired all of us.”
Pham’s fellow nurse Amber Vinson was diagnosed with Ebola shortly after Pham and also after treating Duncan. Vinson’s family released a statement that Vinson was free of Ebola; however, at the time that had not been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control.
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