Update on Nina Pham: The U.S. Nurse Who Contracted Ebola Virus From Patient


Nina Pham, a 26-year-old nurse based in Dallas, Texas, tackled an extremely tough and brave assignment– she was one of the nurses who treated a highly contagious Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan. Unfortunately, along the way she contracted the deadly virus herself.

Duncan was from was from Monrovia, Liberia which was drastically hit with the Ebola virus epidemic. He worked as a personal driver and allegedly came in close contact with the virus. However, his nephew claims this interaction did not happen. On September 19th, he traveled to visit family in Dallas. According to Liberian officials, Duncan lied about his history of contact with the Ebola virus on an airport questionnaire.  On September 14th, he began experiencing symptoms. By September 30th, the CDC confirmed that he had the Ebola virus and was quickly isolated. The virus proved to be too strong and on October 8, 2014, Duncan became the first patient to die within the United States of the Ebola virus disease.


 Nina Pham, the nurse who looked after Duncan, is the first patient to contract the disease while on U.S. soil. The exact way she contracted the virus is still being investigated.

“This is a very brave person who put herself at risk to do something good for society, and is now ill.” said CDC director Tom Frieden.

Pham attended Texas Christian University and graduated with a nursing degree in 2010. She is currently being treated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. She recently received a blood transfusion from Ebola-survivor Dr. Kent Brantly. Brantly had also offered a blood transfusion for Duncan, however the two were not compatible blood types.

The transfusion seems to have affected her well. On Tuesday, Pham released a statement about her condition:

“I’m doing well and want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers,” she said, according to the hospital. “I am blessed by the support of family and friends and am blessed to be cared for by the best team of doctors and nurses in the world.”


Texas Health Resources CEO Barclay Berdan has stated that the doctors involved with Pham’s treatment “remain hopeful” about her recovery.

There is an online fundraising site to support Nina Pham and her family. If you would like to send a message or contact Pham directly, there is an E-Mail a patient function on TexasHealth.org.

(photo credit)