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BETHESDA, Md. (CBSDFW.COM) – Ebola patient Nina Pham is now in fair condition at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland. Pham was transferred from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas to the medical research facility late Thursday night. Doctors provided an update on her condition early Friday morning.
“She is resting comfortably,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the hospital’s director allergy and infectious diseases. “She’s not deteriorating.”
Pham was one of the Dallas health care workers who cared for Thomas Duncan, the first patient to be diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the United States. Duncan died from the virus after more than 10 days under hospital care. Pham was diagnosed with Ebola a few days after Duncan’s death.
The nurse departed Dallas in good condition, making this latest update a drop in her status. Doctors could not elaborate on why her condition had been changed. “She’s been under our care for less than 12 hours,” said deputy clinical director Dr. Rick Davey. “We have to take a very conservative stance at this point.”
Fauci reassured the public that Pham was in good spirits. “She’s a trooper. She’s very brave,” he stated. “I think it would be unrealistic to think that someone would not be worried if they had Ebola.”
Doctors stressed the high calibur health care that Pham is receiving during her stay at the National Institutes of Health. “This is a serious infection. She’s getting the optimal care,” Fauci said, adding that she has highly skilled and trained medical nurses and physicians looking after her. He noted that this is “also being done with the optimal care for our health care workers.”
According to Davey, there are five nurses on a shift caring for Pham, with two of them in the room with her at any time. “She’s in isolation, but she has almost continual person-to-person contact,” Fauci said, saying that her conditions are actually quite comfortable. She even has an iPad. “She’s constantly being cared for, cheered up.”
That said, doctors noted that the flight from Dallas to Maryland took a toll on her body, which is still showing some of the Ebola symptoms. “She’s very fatigued,” Fauci said. “This is a virus that really wreaks havoc on you.”
But doctors remain confident in their ability to help Pham recover. “We fully intend to have this patient walk out of this hospital,” said Fauci, “and we’ll do everything we possibly can to make that happen.” That could possibly include experimental medication.
Fauci stated that Pham’s mother and sister are now also staying in the Maryland area, and that Pham will leave “when she’s free of the virus.”
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