DALLAS (KDKA/AP) – The first Dallas nurse to have contracted Ebola after treating an infected Liberian man was transferred Thursday from a Dallas hospital to a specialized medical facility in Maryland.
The National Institutes of Health said in a statement that Nina Pham, 26, was being taken from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas to the NIH center in Bethesda, Maryland. The NIH facility has one of four isolation units in the United States.READ MORE: Around The Table: Rep. Mike Doyle Won't Seek Reelection
Texas Health Presbyterian officials said Wednesday that Pham was in good condition.
As Pham left the Dallas hospital in an ambulance about 6 p.m. Thursday, dozens of nurses cheered and waved signs bearing messages of affection and good wishes. She was taken to Dallas Love Field, where she boarded the same executive jet used to fly a co-worker to an Atlanta hospital on Wednesday. The jet took off shortly after 7 p.m.
Before leaving Dallas, her medical team recorded a conversation with her that is now posted to YouTube. She said she asked them to share the video.
In the emotional video, the doctors and staff thank her for helping to treat the first Ebola patient. And she tells them she loves them.
Nina Pham: “I love you guys.”
Dr. Gary Weinstein: “We love you Nina.”
Hospital spokesman Wendell Watson said Pham’s transfer is necessary because numerous employees are being monitored for symptoms and aren’t available to work.READ MORE: Woodland Hills High School Students To Be Suspended After Fight
Pham will receive care from an NIH staff specializing in infectious disease and critical care, according to the NIH statement.
Watch the full video of Nina Pham here:
A second nurse who tested positive, 29-year-old Amber Joy Vinson, has been transferred to a biohazard infectious disease center at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
Pham and Vinson were involved in providing care to Thomas Duncan, who died of Ebola last week at Texas Health Presbyterian.
They wore protective gear including face shields, hazardous materials suits and protective footwear as they inserted catheters, drew blood and dealt with his body fluids. Still, the two somehow contracted Ebola.
Federal health officials said Thursday they still don’t know how the nurses caught the virus from Duncan.
Pham will be flown to Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Maryland, a small airport about 35 miles northwest of the NIH. State police, the city and the county are coordinating to ensure she has a quick trip to the hospital, Frederick City Police Lt. Clark Pennington said Thursday.
Meanwhile, in Washington DC earlier in the day, a Congressional hearing – presided over by local Congressman Tim Murphy – was held to discuss the ongoing crisis. He grilled health officials on their response and concerns about travel.
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