The nurse who contracted Ebola after caring for deceased Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan at a Dallas, TX hospital has been identified as Nina Pham, 26, a critical care specialist at Texas Presbyterian Health Hospital. The Dallas Morning News said the woman's identification has been confirmed by her family. Animal lovers are concerned also about the fate of her dog.
The nurse who contracted Ebola after caring for deceased Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan at a Dallas, TX hospital has been identified as Nina Pham, 26, a critical care specialist at Texas Presbyterian Health Hospital. The Dallas Morning News said the woman’s identification has been confirmed by her family.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama met with top health and homeland security advisors this afternoon to be briefed on what they know about how Pham became infected. Earlier in the day, at a news conference, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Thomas Frieden said that detail remains unknown, though it is possible she was wearing too many gloves and exposed herself when she had difficulty removing them.
Frieden called for improving infection control procedures and said the CDC is looking at ways to determine the safest, easiest to wear and remove, protective gear.
Hospitals across the country are holding in-service events to train workers on infection control. In New York City, city-run Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan has set up a special Ebola unit, though as yet it has no patients.
The latest developments in Dallas have also raised concerns the fate of Pham’s pet dog, seen with Pham in a Facebook photo. Dallas officials have taken the dog to an undisclosed location. Though there are as yet no guidelines on how pets that may have been exposed to the virus should be treated, Frieden has said the CDC is working with other agencies to see if such rules are needed.
The dog, a year-old King Charles spaniel named Bentley, is reportedly being monitored for the virus.
According to the Dallas Morning News, a county judge has vowed to keep a promise he made to Pham’s parents not to let the dog be destroyed. “If that dog has to be ‘The Boy in the Plastic Bubble’, we’re going to take good care of that dog,” Judge Clay Jenkins told the paper.
An African study in 2005, partly funded by the CDC, showed that dogs can carry the virus, even though it does not sicken them, and could be vectors of the illness.