Ebola outbreak: Amber Vinson, 2nd nurse infected in Dallas, free of virus
Nina Pham, other previously infected nurse, released from hospital Friday
A second Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola is now free of the virus, Emory University Hospital in Atlanta said on Friday.
Amber Vinson, one of two nurses from a Dallas hospital infected with Ebola after treating the first patient diagnosed with the disease in the U.S., is still receiving supportive care at Emory and no release date has been set.
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But tests no longer detect the virus in her blood, the hospital said in a statement.
Earlier on Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama met with Nina Pham, the other nurse who contracted the virus in Dallas, and gave her a big hug in the Oval Office after her release from a nearby hospital.
Pham, 26, and Vinson became infected with Ebola while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of the virus Oct. 8.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama brought Pham in for a meeting to recognize her work treating Duncan.
"She was doing the work that many nurses do on a daily basis and she did so even though it did put her at some risk," Earnest told reporters.
Photographs of the meeting showed Obama hugging Pham. Reporters and television cameras were not allowed in for the meeting.
Earnest noted that Pham had been tested five times to ensure she was clear of Ebola before being released.
Obama, he said, was "not at all concerned" that he might come under risk of contracting Ebola by hugging Pham.
Pham to return to Texas
Pham was released from the National Institutes of Health's hospital outside of Washington earlier on Friday, where she said she felt "fortunate and blessed to be standing here today," as she walked out on to the front steps to address reporters.
She thanked her health care team in Dallas and at the NIH and singled out fellow Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, who recovered after becoming infected in Liberia, for donating plasma containing Ebola-fighting antibodies as part of her care.
"Although I no longer have Ebola, I know it may be a while before I have my strength back," Pham said at the news conference. Doctors have cleared her to return home to Texas.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease chief at the NIH, told reporters that the five consecutive tests showed no virus left in her blood. Five tests is way beyond the norm, he stressed, but his team did extra testing because the NIH is a research hospital.
"She is cured of Ebola, let's get that clear," Fauci said.
Pham arrived last week at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. She had been flown there from Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
With files from The Associated Press