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Ebola survivor Nina Pham receives hug from Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama hugs Ebola survivor Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.   | Photo Credit: LARRY DOWNING

A nurse, who caught Ebola while caring for a Dallas patient, who died of the disease walked out of hospital virus-free on Friday and into open arms.

Nina Pham got a hug from President Barack Obama in the Oval Office at the White House. And outside the hospital where she had been since last week, she got hugs from the nation’s infectious disease chief, who oversaw her care.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest called the meeting with Mr. Obama “an opportunity for the President to thank her for her service.”

Ms. Pham said she felt “fortunate and blessed to be standing here today,” as she left the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where she had been since she arrived on October 16 from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

Ms. Pham thanked her health care teams in Dallas and at the NIH and singled out fellow Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, who recovered after becoming infected in Liberia, for donating plasma containing Ebola-fighting antibodies as part of her care.

“Although I no longer have Ebola, I know it may be a while before I have my strength back,” Ms. Pham said at a news conference.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told reporters that five consecutive tests showed no virus left in her blood. Five tests is way beyond the norm, he stressed, but his team did extra testing because the NIH is a research hospital.

Ms. Pham is one of two nurses in Dallas, who became infected with Ebola while treating >Thomas Eric Duncan, who travelled to the United States from Liberia and died of the virus on October 8. The second nurse, Amber Vinson, is being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, which on Friday issued a statement saying she “is making good progress” and that tests no longer detect virus in her blood.


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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 4:57:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/dallas-ebola-survivor-nina-pham-receives-hug-from-obama/article6532577.ece

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