A Texas nurse has been officially diagnosed with contracting the Ebola virus and according to all reports, she seemed to have taken all the precautions needed to protect herself from Ebola.
The woman has been identified as 26 year old Nina Pham, she reportedly wore a mask, gown, shield and gloves when her patient, a man who contracted the virus in Africa, was in isolation at the Dallas hospital where she worked.
And despite all of that, she reportedly still contracted Ebola.
Pham, 26, became infected while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient to die in the United States. Pham, who graduated from Texas Christian University’s nursing program in 2010, is the first person known to contract the disease while in the United States.
More details + video of the CDC’s statements on the matter below…
According to CNN:
Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday Pham was “clinically stable.”
Frieden also apologized to officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. He said his comments Sunday that Pham’s infection was the result of a “breach of protocol” did not reflect on Pham or the hospital’s efforts.
“I apologize if people thought I was criticizing the hospital,” Frieden said at a press conference Monday. “And I feel awful that a health care worker became infected while helping an Ebola patient.”
Frieden said investigators have yet to determine how Pham was infected. But he stood by the protocols — including the use of masks, gloves, and other equipment — saying they have proven safe for health care workers for decades.
“The existence of the first case of Ebola spread in the U.S. changes some things and it doesn’t change somethings,” he said. “It doesn’t change the fact that we know how Ebola spreads. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s possible to treat Ebola safely. But it does change substantially how we approach it.”
More than 4,000 people have died in the Ebola outbreak, the vast majority of them in the West African nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Frieden urged hospital workers across the U.S. to watch for patients with fever or other Ebola symptoms who have traveled from those nations.
World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan issued a statement Monday at a conference in Manila calling the outbreak “the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times.”
She said development of a vaccine or cure for Ebola has lagged because the virus is prevalent in such poor nations.
“The outbreak spotlights the dangers of the world’s growing social and economic inequalities,” Chan added. “The rich get the best care. The poor are left to die.”
She said the outbreak is disrupting economies and societies around the world. She said 90% of economic costs of any outbreak “come from irrational and disorganized efforts of the public to avoid infection.”