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Ebola-Stricken Nurse Appears Well In Video

Updated at 10:50 a.m. ET

A smiling nurse Nina Pham, who contracted Ebola after treating an infected patient in Dallas, appears in a video taken before she was transferred to a special isolation unit at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. She jokingly urges people to "come to Maryland."

The 26-year-old critical care nurse is one of two health workers who became infected at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian who subsequently died from Ebola. Nurse Amber Vinson also has tested positive for the potentially deadly virus.

A masked and suited person says to Pham: "We're really proud of you."

Pham was flown by executive jet to Maryland and then taken to the NIH facility, where specialists in infectious disease will care for her. Vinson was also transferred to Emory University hospital in Atlanta.

Meanwhile, a third health worker, who did not have direct contact with Duncan but who "may have had contact with clinical specimens collected from him," according to a State Department spokesperson, left the U.S. aboard a cruise ship that departed from Galveston, Texas, on Oct. 12.

The worker had been self-monitoring for an elevated temperature or other Ebola symptoms since Oct. 6 and left on the cruise before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its requirements for active monitoring. The State Department says it has been 19 days since the worker handled the specimens from Duncan and that he or she so far has shown no symptoms of the disease, which has an incubation period of 21 days. The health worker has voluntarily remained confined to a cabin.

The cruise ship was bound for Belize. Belize's government issued a statement Thursday saying it had been contacted by U.S. officials and made aware that the cruise ship passenger was considered at very low risk for Ebola.

In a news briefing Friday morning in Bethesda, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said Pham was receiving "optimum intensive care." He described her condition as "fair, stable" and said her condition has not deteriorated.

"We fully intend for her to walk out of this hospital and we are doing everything we can to make that happen," Fauci said.

On Thursday, Fauci, told a House panel that Pham will be given "state-of-the-art care" in a high-level containment facility.

When Pham left the hospital in Dallas, officials said she was in good condition.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
Doreen McCallister