Nina Pham, the 26-year-old Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola, has released a statement saying she’s “doing well.”
Pham is the first person to contract the disease in the US. She was caring for patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, who contracted Ebola in Liberia and then showed symptoms after he arrived in the US for a visit with family and friends.
Duncan died last week.
Ebola is transmitted through bodily fluids, and healthcare workers who are caring for these patients are especially at risk of contracting it.
Below is Pham’s full statement:
I’m doing well and want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers. 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.
Texas Health Resources CEO Barclay Berdan also released a statement:
The hearts and prayers of everyone at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas are with Nina Pham, and we are working tirelessly to help her in this courageous fight. The doctors and nurses involved with her treatment remain hopeful, and we ask for the prayers of the entire country.
Health officials announced on Sunday that Pham tested positive for Ebola. She was put in isolation about 90 minutes after she started showing symptoms.
Pham got certified in critical care nursing just two months ago, which qualified her to care for patients with life-threatening ailments like Ebola, according to CNN.
Hospital workers who care for Ebola patients follow a set of strict procedures to avoid contamination and transmission, so it’s not yet clear how Pham contracted the virus. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have mentioned a breach in protocol as a possibility.
Ebola begins with flu-like symptoms, including high fever, and in many cases escalates to internal and external bleeding and organ failure.
More than 4,000 people have died in this year’s Ebola outbreak. Ebola is mostly concentrated to West Africa, where nearly 9,000 people have contracted the disease.
World Health Organisation officials have said that if the global response to the outbreak isn’t stepped up in 60 days, “a lot more people will die,” according to the Associated Press.
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