Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ebola Update: Dallas nurse infected by Ebola virus transferred to Atlanta hospital

The Associated Press 

A Dallas nurse diagnosed with Ebola was being transferred Wednesday to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, one of four U.S. hospitals with specialized isolation unites to care for Ebola patients.

An ambulance with a crew clad in hazardous-material suits arrived at the hospital Wednesday afternoon and left for Dallas Love Field. There, aerial video showed the crew leading a person in a yellow hazmat suit and booties onto a jet.

A statement issued by the Atlanta hospital Wednesday said Amber Joy Vinson was being transferred to Emory from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

However, a spokeswoman for the Dallas hospital declined to confirm that Vinson had been removed from the facility.

Vinson was one of the nurses who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national who died at the Dallas hospital last week of the Ebola virus. Another nurse is in good condition receiving treatment for Ebola.

Another Ebola patient being treated at Emory -- an American doctor said Wednesday that he had been critically ill but is now recovering and expects to be discharged soon.

The unidentified patient -- a doctor working for the World Health Organization at an Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone -- arrived at the Atlanta hospital on Sept. 9. He said his condition worsened soon after he arrived but he is now much better.

"I am well on the road to a full recovery. I want the public to know that although Ebola is a serious, complex disease, it is possible to recover and return to a healthy life," the patient said in a statement released Wednesday by Emory.

The doctor is one of three American aid workers brought to Emory from West Africa; the other two recovered. Emory and three other U.S. hospitals have specialized isolation units to care for Ebola with less risk of spread to health care workers.

The WHO doctor requested Emory release the statement, given the news about the two recently infected Texas nurses. But he did not give his name, and hospital officials have refused to identify him, citing the wishes of the patient and his family.

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday that the first Texas nurse -- Nina Pham -- is in "improved condition." Both nurses were apparently infected while caring for a Liberian man who died of Ebola.

Burwell says all four hospitals with specialized units have been asked about whether they can accept more Ebola patients should the need arise.

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