Nurse Amber Vinson Ebola-free, discharged from hospital
UPDATED 102814 2:31 P.M.
(CNN) — A second Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola is being released Tuesday from an Atlanta hospital and is free of the virus, according to Emory University Hospital’s Dr. Bruce Ribner.
The nurse, Amber Vinson, was diagnosed with Ebola about two weeks ago.
Dressed in a gray suit, Vinson stood at a podium and briefly spoke at a news conference. She said she was “grateful to be well” and thanked God for giving her the hope and strength to fight the disease.
She also thanked former Ebola patients Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol for trying to help by donating plasma to her and other patients.
Vinson’s grandparents were at the news conference with her, and she thanked them and the rest of her family before hugging the medical staff who participated in her care, one by one.
Ribner said that Vinson “has recovered from her infection with Ebola virus, and she can return to … her community and to her life” without any concerns of transmitting the virus.
Vinson is one of two Dallas nurses who was diagnosed with Ebola after treating Liberian citizen Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed in the United States with the virus. Duncan, who had symptoms after flying from Liberia to Texas in September, was admitted to Dallas’ Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital but died on October 8.
The other nurse, Nina Pham, was treated at a National Institutes of Health facility in Maryland before being declared Ebola-free Friday. She was discharged from the hospital that day and met President Barack Obama at the White House before returning home.
Vinson was initially hospitalized at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where she worked and contracted the virus. She was transferred to Emory University Hospital on October 15.
Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, released a statement Tuesday, saying, “We are so pleased that Amber Vinson has been declared free of Ebola.”
“Through excellent health care and her own courage, she beat the disease,” the statement read. “We wish her the best as she transitions back to a normal life, and we welcome her back home to Texas.”
Vinson should be “commended for her strength and courage,” Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said in a separate statement.
Ribner said that the Emory hospital staff has learned “a great deal” about handling Ebola cases after having successfully treated four patients with the virus, including Vinson. The staff has learned lessons about fluid and electrolyte management and that physicians can aggressively treat Ebola patients even when they become dependent on dialysis, he said. Emory is sharing those lessons with colleagues in West Africa and across the United States, Ribner said.
A heavy toll
Obama said Tuesday that Americans deployed to West Africa since August have had a positive impact in the fight against the Ebola virus.
“They are starting to see some progress in Liberia. That’s thanks to the incredible work and dedication of folks from the United States who are leading the way in helping Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone,” Obama added, referring to the three West African countries hit hardest by the disease.
Ebola has killed more than 4,900 people, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and infected thousands more in what health officials call the worst outbreak of the disease in history. The World Health Organization has said that the mortality rate in the current outbreak, starting with the first death in December, is about 70%.
Vinson’s release leaves only one confirmed Ebola patient — Dr. Craig Spencer, 33 — in a U.S. hospital. Spencer, who was diagnosed with Ebola last week in New York after being in contact with Ebola patients in Guinea, was in serious but stable condition in a New York hospital Tuesday, according to New York health officials.
U.S. facilities have treated nine Ebola patients in recent months; Duncan is the only one who has died. All but Vinson and Pham contracted the disease in West Africa.
Many of the nine patients were given experimental treatments and transfusions of plasma from Ebola survivors, though doctors have cautioned that they’re not sure whether the measures helped.
Meanwhile, a patient tested for Ebola was negative for the virus, a spokeswoman for the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore said Tuesday morning. The center had said a day earlier that it was treating a potential Ebola patient.
Child doesn’t have Ebola but remains hospitalized
A 5-year-old boy who recently visited West Africa and had a fever tested negative for the virus in New York, health officials said. A respiratory infection caused the child’s temperature to spike, which initially caused concern that he might have had the Ebola virus, New York City’s Bellevue Hospital Center reported Tuesday.
The boy is being taken out of isolation, CNN has learned, but he’ll remain hospitalized.
U.S. troops quarantined
American service members remain in quarantine at an Army base in Vicenza, Italy, after returning from West Africa, said Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams, the commander of U.S. Army forces in Africa.
Williams is isolated with his men.
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(CNN) — A second Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola is now free of the virus and will be released from the Atlanta hospital where she’s been treated, the hospital said Tuesday.
Amber Vinson will make a statement at a 1 p.m. ET news conference announcing her discharge, which comes about two weeks after her diagnosis, Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital said.
Vinson was one of two Dallas nurses who contracted Ebola after treating Liberia citizen Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed in the United States with Ebola. Duncan, who had symptoms after flying from Liberia to Texas in September, was admitted to Dallas’ Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital but died on October 8.
The other nurse, Nina Pham, was treated at a National Institutes of Health facility in Maryland before being declared Ebola-free on Friday. She was discharged from the hospital that day and met President Barack Obama at the White House before returning home.
Ebola has killed more than 4,900 people, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, in what health officials call the worst outbreak of the disease in history.