, WASHINGTON, Oct 24 – An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital Friday.
The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, just outside the capital will hold a press conference at 11:30am (1530 GMT) to discuss the details of Nina Pham’s release, a spokeswoman told AFP.
Pham was the first US healthcare worker to be infected with Ebola while working inside the United States, after Thomas Eric Duncan was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on September 28.
Duncan, who is believed to have been infected in his native Liberia before travelling to Texas to visit family, died on October 8.
Pham’s Ebola diagnosis was announced October 12. She was initially hospitalized in Dallas at the hospital where she worked, but was transferred to a specialized facility, the NIH Clinical Centre, for treatment on October 16.
Her colleague, nurse Amber Vinson, was also infected while caring for Duncan.
Both women worked in the intensive care unit at the hospital and had extensive contact with Duncan when he sick, though it remains unknown exactly how they were infected.
Vinson’s family said earlier this week that she too was now free of the Ebola virus, which has killed more than 4,800 people in West Africa so far this year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said a “breach of protocol” was to blame, and has since issued stricter guidelines for donning protective gear when caring for Ebola patients.
Ebola is spread though close contact with the sweat, vomit, blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person.